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Fisker Karma
Fisker Automotive's Karma dazzles in Detroit

DailyTech first brought you details on Fisker Automotive's Hybrid Premium Sports Sedan (HPSS) in late October. The hybrid four-door generated a lot of interest around the web for its sleek design and claimed fuel economy.

The North American International Auto Show, which is currently taking place in Detroit, is the staging ground for more information on Fisker's gorgeous concept. The HPSS is now known as the Karma. Fisker also revealed that the Karma's propulsion system will work similarly to the Chevrolet Volt.

In addition to being a plug-in hybrid, the Karma uses a small internal combustion engine (ICE) to recharge a lithium-ion battery pack -- the ICE provides no forward momentum. The Karma can travel 50 miles on battery power alone before the ICE kicks in.

Fisker says that the powerful electric motors used in its Karma are good enough to propel the Karma to 60 MPH within 5.8 seconds. Top speed is a lofty 125 MPH.

"The car we're showing in Detroit is not your usual show car," said Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive. "It's actually a preview of the production car you can buy."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fisker Automotive has the backing of venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- the firm has backed famous companies like Google and Amazon.com. "We have all the capital we need to move forward according to the plan," said Fisker. "We're still going to raise money later in the year, but we don't see that as a big issue."

The Fisker Karma will be priced at $80,000 and the company envisions sales of 15,000 units per year. Expect deliveries of the Karma to begin in late 2009 or early 2010.



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So..is this
By DukeN on 1/14/2008 10:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
Tesla part 2?




RE: So..is this
By SanLC504 on 1/14/2008 10:35:55 AM , Rating: 3
I'd call it Tesla 0.8, because it has to rely on the ICE whereas the Tesla is all electric...

Boogie Woogie Woogie (ugh, I am so going to hell for that)


RE: So..is this
By bhieb on 1/14/2008 1:47:27 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the OP had it right part 2. This would solve the Tesla's biggest weakness, range. Sure 250 miles is far, but not if you have no outlet when the juice runs out not to mention 5 min at the pump is much easier than 6hrs at the outlet on that 1000 mile trip. A gas ICE is the best compromise, no system is perfect. Now version 3.0 would have 250 miles AND an ICE. But realistically 50 miles per charge is good enough to be considered all electric for what 78% of the population that live within 20 miles of work (GM's number so grain of salt here). Of course GM has this beat hands down if the Volt will do what they say for the $20-30K range.


RE: So..is this
By Alexstarfire on 1/14/2008 5:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
Of course we can't really even speculate since they never post mileage estimates. I mean, we got 50 miles for all-electric, but what about after that? Every time these "environmental" cars come out from major companies, they never get numbers.

As far as I'm concerned this is nothing but hype for the moment.


RE: So..is this
By clovell on 1/15/2008 3:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt has a similar serial Hybrid design and it has numbers coming in at 50 mpg after the battery power is expended. I'd expect this to get a bit less, as the Volt is less of a performance car (0-60 8.9s) - probably high 30s, low 40s.


RE: So..is this
By hubajube on 1/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: So..is this
By winterspan on 1/14/2008 4:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are a moron. First of all, I'd like to see a Hyundai excel do 0-60 in 5.8s. Second of all, who the hell actually goes over 80mph except in Germany. You are the wanker if you actually buy a car based on the top speed when you will NEVER actually go that fast on a public road. Or are you the type that drives around a ricer honda civic with your blaring tin-can muffler?


RE: So..is this
By hubajube on 1/14/2008 7:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are a moron. First of all, I'd like to see a Hyundai excel do 0-60 in 5.8s.
I didn't say it could do 0-60 in 5.8s. I said a Hyundai could beat this crap car's 125 top speed.
quote:
Or are you the type that drives around a ricer honda civic with your blaring tin-can muffler?
Now that you mention it, most fart can cars could beat the crap out this lookatmeimsavingtheworldone0to60atatime poseurmobile.


RE: So..is this
By jhinoz on 1/14/2008 10:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
An Excel at 125 mph ? 200 kmh ? Maybe downhill with a tail wind if you can find a long enough hill. I take your point that US$ 80K will get you a lot faster than 125 but that's not the point of the car. If you don't like it, don't buy it and go find a street machine blog.


RE: So..is this
By hubajube on 1/15/2008 12:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you don't like it, don't buy it and go find a street machine blog.
I nor anyone else for that matter will be buying this car. Who wants to take bets that it'll never get produced?


RE: So..is this
By jhinoz on 1/15/2008 1:17:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think it will get produced and there is a market for it, albeit a very small market at this point in time. Look at the sales target
quote:
and the company envisions sales of 15,000 units per year.


Now i'm not familiar with the size of the American car market, but the Australian car market is roughly 1,000,000 units per year, so this would account for 1.5% total sales in just Australia. So if you take the US or world market, the percentage of total sales would be minute, and i think acheivable.


RE: So..is this
By Alexstarfire on 1/14/2008 5:20:18 PM , Rating: 1
Another typical American in here. Where the hell can you legally drive more than 80 MPH anyways, in the US? NOWHERE. Stop bitching about the top speed when you'll never fucking use it anyways. Sure, 125MPH is no Lambo or Corvette, but it's plenty of speed.


RE: So..is this
By nitrous9200 on 1/14/2008 5:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Second of all, who the hell actually goes over 80mph except in Germany. You are the wanker if you actually buy a car based on the top speed when you will NEVER actually go that fast on a public road.


That's kinda what he said.


RE: So..is this
By hubajube on 1/14/2008 7:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another typical American in here. Where the hell can you legally drive more than 80 MPH anyways, in the US? NOWHERE.
Another typical "I'm am better than you because I live outside the US" waffle-eating hypocrite. Just because it's not legal to drive over 80 mph doesn't mean it doesn't get done. I'm 99.9% certain you've gone over the speed limit in your respective country.


RE: So..is this
By kenji4life on 1/14/2008 10:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I think that the term "sports car" gets tossed around quite a bit. A Civic Si, Mazda Miata, etc are all sporty cars and have attributes that set them apart from other models of the same brand. This might make them enough of a sports car to the person purchasing them, whether it be physical appearance, ability to go 0-60 or 60-0 in short amounts of time, or just the overall "feel" of the car.

My own personal definition of a sports car? Good control, sub 7 second 0-60 time, and some amount of styling, among other things. Does this car fit into this category? Yes, of course it does. But so does a Taurus SHO. Neither car comes to mind when you say "sports car" though. Most people think of a Corvette, Porsche, or some exotic car with an animal on the front.

By the way, I can happily say that I have safely tested the top speed of almost every car I've owned or driven on a regular basis, including my Maxima (>140mph), a Honda CR-V (~140mph), a Ford Aerostar (>130mph), a GMC Sierra (>100MPH), and quite a few other cars that escape me at the moment. I had control over these cars at the time, but that certainly doesn't make them sports cars.

To each their own.


RE: So..is this
By FITCamaro on 1/15/2008 7:01:35 AM , Rating: 2
On I-95 which runs up and down the east coast, 80 mph is considered an average speed. I typically do 80 mph on it. But often, you need to pass people who are going slower in the fast lane.

In certain parts of the country, people are doing 100+ on the freeway and if you're not, you're likely to cause an accident. Unlike Europe we've got stretches of 100+ miles where there's nothing and people typically go as fast as they feel comfortable going.

So no, there is no places where its legal to go over 80, but that hardly means there aren't places where a lot of people do. Hell, the other night I was doing 70 on the highway in Charleston. Speed limit was 60. I got passed by a cop doing 80. Speed limits mean nothing unless there's traffic. And when there's traffic, if everyone is doing 10-15 over, the cops just look for those excessively speeding over everyone else or driving wrecklessly. In Orlando, the speed limit on I-4 is 55 typically. You're going to get hit if you're doing under 65. Even the cops are doing 75-80 at times.


RE: So..is this
By rudy on 1/15/2008 2:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
lol this thing has a terrible grill on the front. Looks like its a clown smile, not what I would want in this type of car.


RE: So..is this
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2008 10:36:06 AM , Rating: 2
Let's hope they run into fewer problems than the Tesla Roadster has.


RE: So..is this
By theapparition on 1/14/2008 11:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
And that they have "torque multiplication"

;)


RE: So..is this
By Chris Peredun on 1/14/2008 11:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"The car we're showing in Detroit is not your usual show car," said Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive. "It's actually a preview of the production car you can buy."


I figure they'll have a few issues with Maserati, given that their "production car preview" looks like it was designed with a photo of a Quattroporte, a piece of tracing paper, and liberal use of the "Bubble" tool in PhotoShop.


RE: So..is this
By theapparition on 1/14/2008 10:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
The Lotus that the Tesla is based on was a piece of garbage for anything but the track. I sold mine after a year.

Hopefully, this will have better road manors. I'd consider getting one as a daily driver. It does look good. Only time will tell until I get my hands on one. I'll be in Detroit next week checking things out.


RE: So..is this
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 2:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Lotus that the Tesla is based on was a piece of garbage for anything but the track. I sold mine after a year.
You didn't know that the Elise was a track car?


RE: So..is this
By IGoodwin on 1/14/2008 3:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
The good thing is that everyone has different criteria, so making a single car perfect is impossible.

However, if I had 80K, I would want something with better performance, regardless of gas milage, as gas cost should be relatively irrelivant as economy is already out the window, but that is just me. The Nissan GTR is roughly the same price range. If I'm buying it for environmental reasons, then having an ICE would be a big point against it.

A Tesla has performance and efficiency; however, it can not be described as anywhere near ideal for long distances, or long duration, being small and spartan, with what I'd expect to be a very firm ride. This is not unusual for a car emphasising performance, ride and comfort are always compromised. A sporty car is an ideal proof of concept.

The next Tesla offering should be more mainstream and is of more interest. Especially if the range is reasonable and the serious issue of being able to drive a distance longer than the maximum single charge range in a reasonable time frame can be addressed.

Anyway, less moving parts is the way to go, not increasing them. Yes, I know the whole car moves, so all parts attached to it move, but lets stick to the parts that move separatly from the body. Please remember that the auto industy has a vested interest in keeping a large parts and maintenance structure in place.


RE: So..is this
By theapparition on 1/14/2008 6:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
If your trying to be funny, I'd suggest trying harder.


RE: So..is this
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 7:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If your trying to be funny, I'd suggest trying harder.
Not being funny at all. Although, your post sounded rather funny. You suggest that the Elise is a POS because it's focused on being a performer on the track not the street? This common knowledge. The car pretends to be nothing else.


The right way
By Spivonious on 1/14/2008 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 3
Having an electric motor and a gas generator is the way to do hybrids. Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager.




RE: The right way
By SanLC504 on 1/14/2008 11:01:17 AM , Rating: 3
That may be true, but I wonder how well the batteries will hold up under constant generation from the ICE. Also, with the size of the batteries, how will disposal be if it is wrecked?


RE: The right way
By Xenoterranos on 1/14/2008 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 3
I would assume they'd take them to the same place they take modern horrifically-poisonous-lead-acid batteries, and on the same multi-ton-capacity tow trucks too.

I kind of see your point, but the facilities designed to recycle batteries probably know what they're doing.


RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 7:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
How much it does it cost to recycle batteries?


RE: The right way
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2008 11:06:18 AM , Rating: 2
> "Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager. "

Sure...but such a system just isn't practical for any hybrid based on NiMH batteries.

Now that lithium is becoming cost-effective, we'll start to see a lot more serial hybrids.


RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 2:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Having an electric motor and a gas generator is the way to do hybrids. Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager.
How do you figure? You now have two powerplants instead of one. How is that simpler? Also, a combustion engine is a combustion engine. They all work the same. I'd wager that the ICE in those hybrids will offer DI or HCCI with turbocharging or maybe even a diesel. None of those options sound less complicated to me.


RE: The right way
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2008 2:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
> " How is that simpler?"

I assume the OP meant simpler than a parallel hybrid.


RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 3:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I assume the OP meant simpler than a parallel hybrid.
Gotcha.


RE: The right way
By Spivonious on 1/15/2008 3:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, that's what I meant. With this system there's no need for the fancy power-shifting that needs to go on in a car like the Prius.


15,000 per year, huh?
By etekberg on 1/14/2008 11:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
15,000 per year at $80,000 each??

I don't think so...

What does the corvette sell? 30,000 annually? and at closer to $45,000.

I would bet against them making that sales target.




RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By Sulphademus on 1/14/2008 11:40:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Fisker Karma will be priced at $80,000 and the company envisions sales of 15,000 units per year.


Maybe envisions should be changed to dreams of ?


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By kkwst2 on 1/14/2008 12:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps, but I don't think you can compare numbers as the target market is much different.

I would not buy a Vette, but I would consider buying one of these. Well, not at 80k, but maybe at 50-60k. And there are plenty of people willing to spend a lot more than I am on a car. I think if it turns out to be a good car, they could hit 15k per year pretty easily.


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 3:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think if it turns out to be a good car, they could hit 15k per year pretty easily.
Maybe if it was a Porsche or BMW with an extensive dealer network and a few decades experience in the American market. Not for some niche car manufacturer like Fisker. I think those numbers are wishful thinking.


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By andrinoaa on 1/14/2008 4:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
Cross off BMW, their cars are so ugly now. 15k per year is a very small drop in the bucket overall. The Taurus sold more didn't it? It looked like it had a serious plstic meltdown. lol
just my opinion


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By winterspan on 1/14/2008 4:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, cross off BMW because your opinion is that they are ugly. </sarcasm>
idiot..


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 7:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
15k per year is a very small drop in the bucket overall.
Never seen a $80k Taurus before. Seriously, $80k is a relatively small market and Fisker's other cars don't move in those kinds of numbers. The only companies moving anywhere near 15,000 $80k cars are Porsche and BMW.

Besides, I've seen no reports stating that Fisker was increasing their manufacturing capacity to be able to produce that amount of cars nor have they expanded their dealerships. Oh that's right, they don't have ANY dealerships.


RE: 15,000 per year, huh?
By rudy on 1/15/2008 3:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
Thats a good point, but most likely they will partner with one of the bigger auto makers for distribution (well at least if they are smart).


Question
By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/14/2008 11:36:16 AM , Rating: 3
Is this the same fisker company that makes scissors?




RE: Question
By Eris23007 on 1/14/2008 4:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
Try "Fiskars"


Speed and Distance
By Sulphademus on 1/14/2008 11:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
125mph is hardly "lofty" today. A 4 banger Camry can do that. That may be high for all electric but its typical compared to today's normal cars.

Also, only 50 miles of all electric? Sheesh, the GM EV1 had that beat.




RE: Speed and Distance
By masher2 (blog) on 1/14/2008 12:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "Also, only 50 miles of all electric? Sheesh, the GM EV1 had that beat. "

Until the temperature dropped, at which point the range might dip as low as 20 miles.


Silicon
By AlvinCool on 1/14/2008 10:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't this time frame coincide with the delivery of silicon ion batterys?




A cheap fisker
By pjkenned on 1/14/2008 3:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
Fisker if I'm thinking correctly was the BMW Z8's designer. Then lost the head design job to Bangle (father of the Z4). Fisker left BMW, went to Aston Martin, and won about every award you can imagine for design.

If Fisker has a green car, that costs under $100k, it will be the cheapest you have been able to get some of the guy's work. If a DB9 did 0-60 in 7.5 seconds most people wouldn't care, it looks that cool.




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