A production version of the plug-in Karma hybrid was revealed by the California-based Fisker Automotive today at the Detroit Auto Show after existing as a concept for just twelve months previously. The production Karma has only minor external design improvements compared to the original concept. The CEO of Fisker, Henrik Fisker, is pleased to announce that the eco-friendly Karma is sold out until the middle of 2010.
Pre-orders are set to be delivered beginning November this year with a basic price of $87,900. The Karma comes with a 'Q-Drive' powertrain that can reach 50 miles on an all-electric power from its lithium-ion battery after which a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection GM Ecotec engine kicks in to charge the battery.
With the combination of electric and gasoline driving, it is estimated that users who travel less than 50 miles per day will be able to attain fuel economy of 100mpg (2.4L/100km) annually. An additional charge capacity of 0.5kWh per day is provided by a solar panel mounted on the roof of the car that comes with three modes of auto, climate and charging.
In Climate mode the energy generated from the sun is directly channeled to the climate control system, while Charging mode brings the energy directly to the batteries, and Auto mode permits the computer to decide which is optimal based on current power utilization levels.
The vehicle is propelled by two electric motors generating a combined power yield of 408hp (300kW) and an enormous amount of torque at 959ft-lb (1,200Nm) which is sufficient to help the car reach a maximum speed of 125mph and an acceleration rate from 0-60mph of only 5.8 seconds.
These ratings are remarkable considering the curb weight of the vehicle at 4,560lb (2,070kg). The Karma comes with two driving modes: stealth and sport. In stealth mode, which is actually another designation for an all-electric mode, the Karma has a maximum speed of 95mph, while in sport mode the gasoline powerplant combines with the electric motors to produce a top speed reaching 125mph.
A further driving mode called HEV, short for hybrid electric vehicle, cuts the engine during deceleration, shuts the engine at stop, and uses auto-start and electric take-off characteristics. On the exterior, the Karma production model will highlight the following: a modified upper grill that is a bit bigger towards its outer ends, a bigger air vent which was enlarged to permit more airflow, a dynamic diffuser which incorporates a cooling cover for the electric motor and a complete flush B-pillar.
Improved cooling and aero dynamics are achieved by rerouting the exhaust pipe from the gasoline engine straight toward the back of the front wheels and a small side vent releases the hot air when the engine is activated.
The Karma also comes with a spaceframe in aluminum and its exterior body is a combination of aluminum and composite panels. The expected yearly production output will be 15,000 units all assemble in Finland by Valmet and half of which will be sold in Europe with first deliveries coming in November. Pricing for the European Karma will be made available by March at the Geneva Motor Show while in the meantime Fisker is seeking a series of 40 dealerships by October half of which will be announced in January.