Fisker Karma preparing to make its debut at Frankfurt

Article by Christian A., on August 29, 2009

Claimed to be one of the cleanest and most efficient cars in the world, the four-door Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will make its German debut in the Frankfurt Motor Show in a matter of days.

Not many can beat its 83g CO2/km and economy rating of 3.5L/100km. While being environmentally friendly, it still offers world-class style and performance.

The Karma has the potential to save 941 million liters (248 million gallons) of gasoline and 2.3 million metric tons (2.5 million US tons) of CO2 offset from sales of 15,000 Karmas per year through 2016.

Real world driving on the Karma will cost around 0.05/km ($0.07/mile) based on a mix of Stealth (electric) and Sport (gasoline) mode use.

What you won't normally find in a plug-in hybrid vehicle is the Karma's 403hp and more torque than many supercars. Going from 0-100km/h (62mph) takes about six seconds and top speed is 201km/h (125mph).

Its exclusive Q-DRIVE powertrain is expected to deliver an emission-free 80km (50mi) per full charge of its 22kWh/200kW Lithium-ion battery.

It has a total extended range of more than 480km through the use of its gasoline-powered engine/generator. Watch out for the Karma as it will be the first production Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) when it goes on sale in 2010.

The exterior of the new Fisker Karma boasts of the brand’s signature style – a continual flow of sculpture and dramatic proportions. The driver is given a distinct position to view the Karma’s design, as made possible by its raised front fenders and its low, wide stance.

Compared to the original Fisker Karma prototype, the production version features an enhanced upper grille as well as an enlarged lower intake – both helping improve airflow. In addition, the new Karma comes with a new aerodynamic diffuser under the rear bumper, which aids in cooling down the electric drivetrain. Furthermore, the new Fisker Karma boasts of having the largest continuously formed glass solar panel roof on a car. A standard feature on all Fisker Karma sedans, this glass solar panel roof is the first in the auto industry.

Henrik Fisker, chief executive of Fisker Automotive, remarked that the carmaker considers it important to maintain a singular design language and to keep the integrity of the original design from initial concept to final production. He quipped that the new Karma is distinguished by certain key elements like extreme proportions, beautiful sculpture as well as earth-friendly materials. Fisker added that the new Karma stands out because of its inspiring drive. He added that they expect the new Karma to create a new segment of eco-friendly transportation, becoming the most desirable plug-in hybrid sports sedan in the process.

The interior design team for the new Karma provided the sedan with an inviting cockpit. They focused on creating a sustainable design that is also accountable to the environment. The interior design team took inspiration from nature's timeless beauty and the quality of classic design composition. The sedan’s so-called Sustainable and Accountable Design is expressed through the use of reusable materials enhanced by modern technology. For instance, its wood trim is sourced from non-living trees. These include 'Fallen Trees' that had yielded to old age; 'Sunken Trees' that were lurking in the bottom of American lakes; as well as 'Rescued Trees' that were burned in forest fires

Meanwhile, Fisker ensured that the instrumentation and controls of the new Karma are easy to use. A 10.2-inch touch sensitive screen -- controlling HVAC, audio and other vehicle systems – is embedded in the layered EcoGlass center console. The Karma also features LCD gauges behind the steering wheel, displaying information like vehicle speed and battery charge.

According to Fisker, the material philosophy for the Karma preaches a balance between sensuality and accountability. He noted that the carmaker went to great lengths to use only eco-conscious, materials that support its commitment to environmental initiatives.

Three trim levels are available: EcoBase, EcoSport and EcoChic. EcoChic is the most advanced sustainable material series, taking an animal-free approach while offering a luxurious interior. For instance, EcoChic employs 100-percent Bamboo Viscose instead of leather, with EcoGlass trim framing authentic fossilized leaves. The EcoSport series, meanwhile, employs hand-wrapped premium leather using a 100-percent sustainable manufacturing strategy.

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