2012 Fisker Karma
Testing an all-new car is always exciting, but when it’s a brand’s first new car, it’s thrilling. And, when it happens to be an extended range electric car, like this Fisker Karma, it’s a truly momentous occasion.
Like the front drive Chevrolet Volt, the Karma uses series-hybrid technology. But, in the Karma, two electric motors drive the rear wheels with a range of up to 50 miles using a 20 KWh lithium-ion battery pack. From there, a front mounted GM sourced 2-liter turbocharged engine starts turning a 175-kilowatt generator that extends the range to 300 miles. Combined, the system puts out 403-horsepower or about the same as a Porsche Panamera S, but torque, at 981 pound feet is almost 3 times higher.
Battery charging takes as much as 14-hours on 110, or as little as 6-hours on 220, and costs about $2 at current U.S. average electricity rates. The instant acceleration we’ve come to appreciate from electric cars is in full effect, as the Karma zooms to 60 in a touch over 6 seconds, feeling more like its running on Red Bull, than batteries.
BEN DAVIS: The Karma is a stop and stare exotic, no doubt about it, but it’s also easy to drive, very comfortable, low maintenance, and it sports a green footprint. How many supercar owners can brag about that?
Looks are downright stunning, with huge 22-inch wheels pushing up the sheet-metal, and at over 124-inches between those wheels it gives a new meaning to long-wheelbase.
All of that striking sheet-metal is actually a mix of aluminum and composite body panels, and they’re attached to a light-weight aluminum space frame. The roof acts as a solar panel, and feeds energy directly to the cars electrical system.
Inside, it’s all rather high-tech, with seats for four, although the rear is sized for children only, and eco-conscious materials like low carbon leather and certified “sunken” or “fallen” wood. In the dash, is a 10-inch touch-screen Fisker Command Center that incorporates just about every vehicle control.
As the world’s first EV luxury sports sedan with Extended Range, the Karma is truly a “good deed.” Three trim levels will be available - EcoStandard, EcoSport, and EcoChic and pricing is a little shocking, starting at $102,000.
Price: Starting at $102,000