The much-anticipated final production form of the Fisker Karma range-extended hybrid sports saloon has been unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The project had suffered various delays that held it up for about a year. In an interview with Autocar, designer Henrik Fisker released the updated information on the vehicle’s specification, production and distribution. Early in 2011, full production will start at Finland’s contract manufacturer Valmet, its sole global factory base.
After ramp-up, about 15,000 units will be produced a year, divided between saloon, ‘Sunset’ convertible and a third bodystyle (which has yet to be named). The Karma will be offered first with a four-door, four-seat coupe-cum-saloon powered by a series ‘range-extended’ hybrid powertrain. The rear wheels are driven by two rear-mounted electric motors, providing a peak power output of 398bhp, and 981lb ft of torque from zero rpm.
A 20kWh lithium ion battery gives enough power for 50 miles of zero emissions range. And that electrical powertrain is supported by a 2.0-litre Ecotec turbo petrol engine ‘generator’ that delivers up to 256bhp, but is not linked to the car’s wheels. The exact kerbweight of the Karma has not been revealed yet but it’s estimated that even with its aluminum spaceframe structure and aluminum and composite body panels, the car will still exceed two tons. In sport mode, the car is still expected to perform well – with a top speed of 125mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.9secs. The car’s full range-extended range is around 300 miles.