Fisker has announced plans to launch the production version of its electric Karma sports saloon at the Detroit motor show in January.
“We are very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS,” said CEO Henrik Fisker. He added that the $87,900 Karma was sold out until mid-2010 and that deliveries would begin in November next year.
The Fisker Karma uses its own hybrid powertrain – branded Q-Drive – offering an all-electric range of 50 miles. It works with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, which charges the lithium-ion batteries when they run down.
Fisker Automotive says that commuters who drive less than 50 miles a day will average 100mpg over the course of a year.
The company is promising that the dramatic looks of the Karma concept have barely been changed for the production car.
The rakish four-seat saloon is built around a lightweight, aluminium frame and has aluminium panels to try and save weight, but it still weighs a whopping 2109kg because of its electric powertrain.
The Karma’s maximum performance is offered in ‘Sport’, although this cuts battery life. It can sprint from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 125mph. The two powerful electric motors offer a combined total of 408bhp.
‘Stealth’ mode is the default setting. In this mode, the Q-Drive runs in an optimum manner to preserve battery life. The top speed is limited to 95mph and the acceleration is numbed slightly.
As part of an effort to boost battery life, the Karma has a solar panel on its roof and a regenerative braking system.
It also has a long wheelbase and a low centre of gravity, with multi-link suspensions and Michelin Pilot Sports in an effort to ensure its handling matches the straight-line performance.
Heavy parts of the powertrain, like the power invertors, have been positioned to try and ensure optimum weight distribution.
Valmet Automotive, who also make the Boxster and the Cayman for Porsche, will assemble the Karma.
Fisker hopes to sell 15,000 Karmas per year. Prices and specifications for European models will be announced in March at the Geneva motor show.