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Fisker Karma  (Source: Motor Authority)
Fisker reveals more details on its Karma hybrid sedan

Fisker Automotive is progressing nicely with its Karma hybrid sedan. DailyTech first brought you information on this sleek vehicle in October 2007 and have kept up-to-date with all of the latest information leaks from the company.

Today, Fisker Automotive is ready to provide a few more interesting tidbits on the Karma. First off, the company released a single image today of the production sedan from a rear 3/4 view. The vehicle is just as sexy as it appeared in concept form. According to Motor Authority, only slight changes were made to make the production Karma compliant with federal regulations.

We also now know more details on the powertrain for the Karma hybrid sedan. The Karma will use a turbocharged General Motors Ecotec four-cylinder engine which develops 260 HP. This will be paired with a "Q-Drive" hybrid system which features two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. The Karma will also have enough battery storage onboard to power the vehicle 50 miles on battery power alone. Total power of the Ecotec engine combined with the two electric motors will be an impressive 408 HP.

Pricing for the Fisker Karma is set at $87,900 for the base model. According to Fisker, the first deliveries of the sedan will take place in November of next year.

The sleek styling and the powertrain of the Fisker Karma makes the Chevrolet Volt look rather plain in comparison. However, the Karma's price tag is more than twice the expected price of GM's shining beacon of light.

Updated 11/4/2008
Fisker Motors released a second image of the production Karma, this time from the front 3/4 view (see image on the bottom right).

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Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 12:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
The engine being used is the Ecotec LNF from the Solstice GXP/Sky Redline, HHR SS, and Cobalt SS. It's a direct injected, turbocharged 2.0L 4 cylinder.

RE: Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 12:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
260hp/260 lb-ft of torque.

RE: Engine Info
By HVAC on 12/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 6:43:07 PM , Rating: 4
Huh? LS7's with twin turbo's fit in that same engine bay with no heat issues. I happen to own this car and it's more than up to the task of road course racing (except for the stock brake pads). No heat issues here and that engine bay has plenty of room.

RE: Engine Info
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 1:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's a great little engine. Will easily take more boost too. There was even talk of it going into the base Camaro for fuel efficiency reasons. Honestly it might have worked. Only reason it wouldn't have is due to the weight of the new Camaro.

RE: Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 1:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. And GM just released a warranty covered (covered under the 5 yr/100k powertrain) upgrade package that takes it up to 290hp/340 lb-ft of torque.

RE: Engine Info
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 3
Damn. 80 lb ft. They need to put that engine in more of their cars. It spanks almost anything out there. And for gods sake give it a damn 6-speed.

Hell a Mustang GT doesn't have 340 lb ft of torque. Can you say torque steer?

RE: Engine Info
By BZDTemp on 12/2/2008 2:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
340 lb ft it may be but at what revs. I bet it's only the top around perhaps 6000 rpm or so. Not a bad thing per say however it will mean it's only really available when giving the thing the boot - just like with a VTEC engine :-)

RE: Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 3:01:30 PM , Rating: 3
340 lb ft it may be but at what revs. I bet it's only the top around perhaps 6000 rpm or so.
Nope. Redline on that engine is 6300 rpm and the power/torque trails off dramatically at 5800 rpm (out of the turbo's effciency range). The stock motor hits max torque at 1750 rpm and trails off after 5300 rpm. Same with the power upgrade as it uses the stock turbo too. The stock head flow is only mediocre that's why it makes so much torque.

RE: Engine Info
By Siki on 12/2/2008 4:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Turbocharged production cars generally have a lower rpm power band than naturally aspirated cars. They tend to use smaller turbos so as to not introduce large amounts of turbo spool lag. The trade off is that at higher engine rpms the small turbo must spool very fast to maintain pressure, and becomes inefficient at these speeds usually heating the air more than compressing it. So rarely do you get a production turbocharged car with a power band that doesn't drop off prior to redline.

RE: Engine Info
By Jimbo1234 on 12/2/2008 11:08:50 PM , Rating: 3
Two words: B5 S4.

RE: Engine Info
By PlasmaBomb on 12/3/2008 11:40:06 AM , Rating: 5
Neither of those are words...

RE: Engine Info
By Chernobyl68 on 12/4/2008 7:52:06 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Engine Info
By Jimbo1234 on 12/6/2008 1:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
To gearheads they are. To geeks, apparently not.

RE: Engine Info
By otispunkmeyer on 12/5/2008 5:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
nah, turbo cars can be mapped to give almost max torque over quite a healthy slice of the rev range. look at cars like the VW GTI, think this makes max torque from like 1500rpm all the way past 4000rpm or something.

cant remember if they use variable vane (variable IGV) tech to do that or its just the ECU mapping

RE: Engine Info
By Samus on 12/3/2008 1:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
Bring the Mustang 4-cylinder back. With a Turbo of course. I always thought those high reving four bangers are a lot of fun in a muscle car... they help the weight ratio too!

RE: Engine Info
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 1:48:46 PM , Rating: 3
And honestly at that power level, it would probably do fine in the Camaro. 340 lb ft is more torque than the DI Cadillac V6 has. Don't get me wrong the V6 is a great engine (V6 Camaros are gonna be keeping up with V8 Mustangs). But with fuel economy standards going up, the I4 would be a great way to keep the mpg up on the base model. And with how easy it is to get more power out of them, it wouldn't be a slouch either with a little modding.

I know the idea of an I4 Camaro is blasphemy to even myself but with that kind of power coming out of one, you gotta give it props.

RE: Engine Info
By theapparition on 12/2/2008 3:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
I know the idea of an I4 Camaro is blasphemy to even myself but with that kind of power coming out of one, you gotta give it props.

Welcome to the wonderful world of 1982-1985 3rd Gen Camaros.

RE: Engine Info
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
I owned 3 of them buddy(85, 87, 89). When I made this account I was driving an 87 IROC-Z. I'm firmly aware of the Iron Duke. It was blasphemy then as its blasphemy now. Just this time around the blasphemy wouldn't be quite so harsh.

They also made turbo I4 Mustangs in the 80s that were actually pretty quick for the times.

RE: Engine Info
By 67STANG on 12/2/2008 4:36:24 PM , Rating: 3
Ahh yes, the old SVO's. Great Mustangs. Hard to find an unmolested copy.

Really, the bottom line is that anything with a turbo can be made to go VERY fast.

I always liked this video of a dodge caravan (with one of the old dodge turbo engines) blowing the doors off of an SS Camaro... ( )

And here's an old K car with the same engine blowing away a Toyota Supra (

Let's be honest, both of these examples with their 2.2 or 2.5 I4 engines would be nothing without a turbo....

When ford releases their EcoBoost I4, which will be even smaller at only 2.0, it will have 275hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Not too shabby. Rumor has it that the 2010 Mustang will be getting an EcoBoost V6, with a minimum of 340hp.

RE: Engine Info
By foolsgambit11 on 12/2/2008 5:05:53 PM , Rating: 3
Hahaha! That's ridiculous. Maybe not as crazy as Ferrari vs. Smart Car. But close.

Still, let's get back down to about 1.6L. I had an '85 Accord with an 86HP 1.8L I4 engine. It pushed that 1 ton car around just fine. Imagine what a modern 1.6L engine could put out. Although I think cars end up weighing more these days....

RE: Engine Info
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 5:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
Some of the Ecoboosts and GM's upcoming motors will be small displacement. GM's 2.2L replacement will be a 1.4L, direct injected turbo making the same hp but with much better gas mileage. Quite frankly, I'm more excited about these motors than with hybrid or all electric tech. I guess I have a thing with making something that's not supposed to do something, do it. Example: making a small displacement motor put out a ton of power or, in this case, making a gas engine unexpectedly efficient.

RE: Engine Info
By JediJeb on 12/3/2008 10:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
I had a video a few years ago with a Dodge Omni GLH blowing the doors off a Corvette just can seem to find it again. Was great to show it to our resident Bowtie fanatic here at work lol.

RE: Engine Info
By Indianapolis on 12/3/2008 10:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I need to dig up some of my old home videos and put them on YouTube. My brother and I were turbo-Dodge enthusiasts, and I drove an 85 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo that would run low 12's at around 110 mph .

The engine was mostly stock...we just added an intercooler, cranked up the boost, and cut the exhaust open upstream of the catalytic converter. Chrysler built that 2.2L engine tough! I had the old stock turbo maxing out at around 18 psi on a high mileage engine, and it took LOTS of abuse.

I've got some great videos of that boxy little Dodge making some fast cars look ridiculous.

I had a pair of slicks mounted on factory rims, and some weekends I would throw those on and prowl the street for unsuspecting Corvettes, Mustangs, and Camaros.

My brother also had one of those rare 2.5L turbocharged Dodge Caravans (as seen in the above video), and with a little extra boost it was in the 14s. That was a lot of fun on the street too! Needless to say, I'm happy to see turbos making a comeback.

RE: Engine Info
By technohermit on 12/4/2008 10:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
I owned a 1984 Mustang GT Turbo. It was a 2.3 I4 with more horsepower than the V8 at the time. That is before the SVO was out, which they produced until 1986. Also, there was the TurboCoupe Thunderbirds on the same drivetrain. The x7 Cougar as well. I think the SVO's after '84 were intercooled, as were the Thunderbird/Cougar. They made them back then for the same reasons they are going to start producing them again: efficiency, power, and emissions standards. I think Ford is going to put the new I4 turbos in the F-150's, too. That will be fun.
My father took a turbocoupe drivetrain and put it in a 2WD 1988 Ranger. That was a really fun, really fast little pickup.
I wonder why Ford never did that to the Rangers as a stock option?

RE: Engine Info
By Goty on 12/2/2008 10:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, we need to make the distinction that only the turbo 4's were anywhere near quick. =P

My first car was a 1980 Mustang 2.3L I4. Rated at 96 HP, felt like 26. It was pretty ugly, too.

RE: Engine Info
By phxfreddy on 12/2/2008 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 1
Why are camaros like hemmorhoids ?

......because sooner or later every old bunghole gets one.

RE: Engine Info
By theapparition on 12/2/2008 2:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
Then you must have a garage full of them.........

RE: Engine Info
By Clauzii on 12/4/2008 8:14:27 PM , Rating: 1
... steps out of Need For Speed - and realises it's all becoming reality..!

We need a better naming system.
By foolsgambit11 on 12/2/2008 1:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, this car may have 4 doors, but it is decidedly not a sedan. Nothing about this car says sedan except the 2 extra handles.

RE: We need a better naming system.
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 1:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like a sedan to me.

RE: We need a better naming system.
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 1:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like they stretched out a Vette a little, added two doors, and made the rear end more curvy.

RE: We need a better naming system.
By bhieb on 12/2/2008 1:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
Was thinking the same thing. As far as performance sedans go though, I'd still much rather have the 09 CTS V. I can buy a lot of gas with the extra $15-20 K.

RE: We need a better naming system.
By FITCamaro on 12/2/2008 3:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
The supercharged Northstar Caddy has is an insane engine. 4.4L DOHC V8. Easily makes it to 500+ hp with a pulley change.

RE: We need a better naming system.
By Alexvrb on 12/4/2008 11:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Fit, the 09 CTS-V, like its predecessor (and most really high-performance Cadillacs these days) does *not* use the Northstar engine. I've never been a fan of the Northstar, not even the second gen models. But anyway the 09 CTS-V is powered by a supercharged 6.2L pushrod LS-series engine. The LSA, to be precise. It's essentially an LS9 with a smaller supercharger. It's got the adjustable maglev shocks like the ZR-1. I'm sure you know all this though. This thing slaughters even a built-up SC northstar in terms of both power and efficiency.

By MuskBassist on 12/4/2008 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe something similar to the way Mercedes-Benz markets the CLS-Class as a "four-door coupe".

By otispunkmeyer on 12/5/2008 6:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
also, its got some funky BMW kidney grill come Maserati Gran Turismo front end going on. infact the whole thing could almost be a 4 door maserati Gran Turismo!!!

good job the maser is one of the best looking cars you can buy today!

A little more info please
By Suntan on 12/2/2008 12:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
The Karma will also have enough battery storage onboard to power the vehicle 50 miles on battery power alone.

And what kind of duty cycle is this putting on the battery? it's one thing to run the battery from fully topped off to completely flat. It's another thing all thogether to cycle it such that the battery lives a long, useful life. More info would make the article better.

But then, I guess replacing $10,000 or so of batteries every other year on your boutique brand $90,000 car is still more noble (at least for the purposes of armchair quarterbacking GM) than creating one that can actually work as a viable car for middle income car buyers.


RE: A little more info please
By BZDTemp on 12/2/2008 2:30:12 PM , Rating: 3
Easy now. It is a good thing there are cars which make putting in the money to be an early adopter attractive. That is what Fisker does just as the Tesla is.

As always new tech is expensive so there are two ways to get it out there. Either make it attractive by going up-market or put some government incentives out that help. With the rich get a nice car AND help fund development of the tech plus just as important provides experience with production and maintenance.

Also say the cars new tech turns out to have gremlins. That will much less of a problem for the people buying this car (as it will likely be their 3-4-5... ride) than if it's to be the sole ride of a family. So you should be grateful of the early adopters instead of the envy thing you have going :-)

Finally if the Fisker performs like it looks and the HP figures suggest it will be a nice ride. Remember Fisker Coachworks is not your average garage outfitter but guys which know their stuff so the overall quality will be top-notch instead of cheap GM plastic dashboards.

RE: A little more info please
By Spuke on 12/2/2008 3:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
That is what Fisker does just as the Tesla is.
You actually have to be in business long enough to make a difference if that's your goal. With Tesla circling the bowl, how long is Fisker going to be around?

RE: A little more info please
By fteoath64 on 12/2/2008 10:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yikes, a Tesla is going to be a dead duck if it runs out of power on any road, while any hybrid has the gasoline engine to at least get to a charging point. I think the 50 mile range on battery is really short, they should double it to 100 miles and it would be more usable for urban short trips that takes 80% of the trips for most households.

RE: A little more info please
By BZDTemp on 12/3/2008 7:19:04 AM , Rating: 2
First off - Tesla is not dead and while I agree the latest news have been grim I think there is a good chance of them turning it around. That is sort of the idea when downsizing and replacing the CEO.

Secondly I think it is pretty unfair to put Fisker in the same box as Tesla. Tesla is a company founded by IT people where in contrast Fisker Automotive is a partnership between a special car company and a tech company. The CEO of Fisker Automotive has a car background from BMW and Ford. He has been a board member at Aston Martin, the director of a Ford design studio plus he designed the DB9, the Vantage and the Z8.

I don't get it.
By Reclaimer77 on 12/3/2008 6:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
I really just don't get it. 87k is approaching supercar exotic pricing. I think if you can afford an 87k car, fuel economy and gas prices isn't really a concern. Right ?

I just don't get it...

RE: I don't get it.
By Noliving on 12/4/2008 1:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
niche market.

RE: I don't get it.
By GeorgeH on 12/4/2008 2:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
Then you don't get the Prius, either. People are more than willing to pay extra for "green" products with that shout out how environmentally sensitive they are.

RE: I don't get it.
By wetwareinterface on 12/5/2008 5:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
compare it to retrofitting a hummer for hydrogen and you see who the target market is. gov. Schwartz... anyway you get the idea. it's a car for those with more money and more need to appear to be, or be, "green" concious yet also appear upscale.

it's a nice looking vehicle and it's power specs are impressive. "green" is just a bonus for this car.

Engine only charges the batteries
By thomp237 on 12/6/2008 10:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
The use of that Ecotech engine makes NO sense. The only thing the engine does is power the generator that charges the batteries and optimally that is a low revving high torque motor, not a small displacement turbocharged engine. Also, the engine is in no way connected to the drive train so all that power wont get you to 60 mph any faster.

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