Fisker unveils fulls details of the production version of its Karma plug-in hybrid sports car

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.

See pics of the Fisker Karma - plus pics from the Paris motor show launch

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.

“We’ll be pricing the Karma to compete with BMW’s 750i in most markets,” explained Fisker, implying a sticker of about £70,000. “Our UK dealer network will be confirmed over the coming weeks. We’ll certainly be well represented, and deliveries should start in March or April of 2011.”

Once the Karma’s up and running, Fisker’s growth plan only gets more ambitious. “We’ve already aquired a factory in the USA, and we’re investing in a slightly smaller model family of plug-in hybrids roughly the size of BMW’s 3-series. We expect to be able to produce 100,000 of those cars a year before 2015."

The American company is also expected to announce details about the expansion of its dealer network and future marketing campaign imminently.

Matt Saunders

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Comments
7

17 September 2010

OMG as the 12 yo say - that is gorgeous

17 September 2010

Mmm... 100mpg and a 620-mile range...

But somehow, I don't think that the Fisker will have a 6.2-gallon tank. Could it be that Fisker is not telling us the whole picture here?

But maybe it's just me being cynical.

17 September 2010

[quote Another traveller]

Mmm... 100mpg and a 620-mile range...

But somehow, I don't think that the Fisker will have a 6.2-gallon tank. Could it be that Fisker is not telling us the whole picture here?

But maybe it's just me being cynical.

[/quote] Most cars have a 50 litre plus tank so the 100 mpg must apply to a shorter distance than the maximum but more then 50 miles because you can do that on electric only. Not sure how you would convert the 50 miles electric only to mpg.

17 September 2010

The 100 mpg applies only to the 50 miles that can achieved with a full charge of the battery. Thereafter its running as a standard hybrid, the petrol engine charging the batteries.

I thought the most interesting bit of the article was the absence of a price, This is going to come in at £100,000 plus in the UK. Then we have the sales target 100,000. That's about what Porsche achieve with the whole of their range. I'd love to see the business case!

17 September 2010

[quote crashbangwallop]I thought the most interesting bit of the article was the absence of a price, This is going to come in at £100,000 plus in the UK.[/quote] The price they were originally suggesting when the car was first announced was about £45,000 but like all these things the original attractive price seems to get higher and higher the nearer the on-sale date approaches. You can guarantee that the price will be considerably higher in Europe and UK that being just a US$/GB£ conversion.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

17 September 2010

They were up to $87,000 and climbing in the US. Given the usual price in the States to selling in the UK for cars is 1:1, I am sure this wil be Tesla territory and I'd be on £100k.

17 September 2010

[quote ischiaragazzo]OMG as the 12 yo say - that is gorgeous[/quote]

Wicked.

Agreed, one of the best looking four-door saloons I've seen.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

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