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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 "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: 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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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