Opel is planning to offer an electric version of the Karl minicar by end of 2018, according to a report by Autobild magazine. The Karl EV will be able to travel around 150 km (93 miles) before needing to recharge its battery. There have been reports suggesting that the Karl EV might feature a number of aerodynamic styling tweaks like a new front fascia with revised headlights.
Deliveries of the new Karl hatchback – the conventional version – will commence in June 2015. It will also be sold in the United Kingdom by sister brand Vauxhall rebadged as the Viva, replacing the Agila minicar its new entry-level model.
In July 2014, Opel announced plans for a development of an electric vehicle to replace the Ampera a plug-in hybrid that is derived from on the Chevrolet Volt. Opel decided to stop sales of the Ampera after the plug-in hybrid failed to gain satisfactory sales.
In fact, Opel sold just 934 Amperas in Europe in 2014, a big drop from the 3,180 delivered in 2013, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.
The design of the Opel Karl makes for a matured and distinct mini-car. Its fascia shows a friendly playful, but clever, attitude. It has a broad and lowered proportioned single trapezoidal grill with a brand bar designed to hold the Opel emblem. The brand bar is slender and has 'winglets' linking the eye to the attractive eagle-eyed headlights nestling the front grille.
The hallmark 'blade' body side, animatedly sweeping up, is suggested on the doors and demonstrates Opel's sculpted, accurate design ethos. The two crisp lines that run through the door handles accentuate the dramatic high-quality personality. Large head and tail lights enhance the vivid look, producing a total design showing an exceptional eye for detail in a vehicle of this segment. The Karl comes in ten colours from 'Mystic Violet' to 'Fresh Green Lime'. Also, numerous designs are available for the 14- to 16-inch rims.
Karl’s interior offers a spacious interior and driver-oriented cockpit giving the driver and passenger a feeling of room, quality, and eye for detail formerly only seen in cars of higher classes. Intelligent storage options like the added storage are over the normal glove box or the ample front door pockets large enough to contain a standard one-litre PET bottle confirm the effective interior space use. Every Karl has full rear windows able to roll down, which is another find in this price class.
With its classic Opel design, energetic and well-controlled engine, practically endless safety features and advances as well as benchmarking connectivity and infotainment technology, the Karl demonstrates that it is a full member of the Opel family and offers a reasonable and definitive package for euro 9,500.