After a year of delays, the USA’s ground-breaking Fisker Karma range-extended hybrid sports saloon appeared in final production form at last week’s Paris motor show.
Designer Henrik Fisker gave Autocar up-to-date information on its specification, production and distribution specifics.
The car enters full production at Finland’s contract manufacturer Valmet early in 2011, its sole global factory base. After ramp-up, some 15,000 units will be built a year, split between saloon, ‘Sunset’ convertible and a third, as yet unconfirmed bodystyle.
At first the Karma will be offered as a four-door, four-seat coupe-cum-saloon powered by a series ‘range-extended’ hybrid powertrain.
Two rear-mounted electric motors, driving the rear wheels, give it a peak power output of 398bhp, and 981lb ft of torque from zero rpm.
They feed from a 20kWh lithium ion battery, providing enough power for 50 miles of zero emissions range.
And that electrical powertrain is backed up, in turn, by a 2.0-litre Ecotec turbo petrol engine ‘generator’ delivering 256bhp at its peak, but that’s unconnected to the car’s wheels.
Fisker has yet to confirm the exact kerbweight of the Karma, but despite an aluminium spaceframe structure and various aluminium and composite body panels, it’s expected to be in excess of two tonnes.
Performance in sport mode should still be good: 0-62mph in 5.9sec and 125mph flat out. The car’s full range-extended range should be 300 miles.