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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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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.


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