This will be a monumental undertaking by one man, Henry Fisker. To create a car company from scratch, and to do it in a way that has never been done before, at least not to this scale, is a big deal. Fisker’s Karma plug-in hybrid will finally bring the hybrid mentality away from cars like the Prius and more toward cars we can actually lust over.
The Karma will be built by automotive manufacturing specialists Valmet Automotive. Production will take place at Valmet’s Finland plant where the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are built. The interior of the car will be built by Magna, and will be first shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Fisker is shooting for a yearly volume of 15,000 units.
The Karma is one interesting car. Weighing in at almost two and a half tons, the Karma is no lightweight in the sense of the Tesla roadster. This is one substantial car with comparisons to Maserati’s Quattroporte more fitting than a Prius.
The Karma uses a powertrain Fisker calls "Q-drive". It basically consists of two electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. This system is then mated with a 260-hp, 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged 4-cylinder supplied by General Motors and found in cars like the Cobalt SS and Solstice GXP. Calculated combined power of both motors is said to be 408-hp and an amazing 959 lb.-ft. of torque.
While in high-performance Sport mode, the Karma can run 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and keep going to a top speed of 125mph. When run in its economical Stealth mode, the electric-only range is 50 miles, which is more than most people drive in a day.
When all is said and done, what Henry Fisker has accomplished is highly commendable. His Fisker Automotive car company has the potential to reinvent the hybrid. With a price set at $87,900, it shouldn’t be too affordable. But don’t worry as you’ll have lots of time to save up some dough, as Fisker claims all cars are sold out until mid-2010. Impressive indeed.
Source: Road and Track
Photos: Fisker Automotive