VP Biden Accidentally Leaks Fisker's New Lineup
October 30, 2009 7:45 AM
(Source: Motor Authority)
The Fisker Karma makes an appearance in California.
Apparently Fisker has several new models planned...
about Fisker Automotive may have been a bit skewed and inaccurate (Fox show hosts tried to claim Fisker was not a U.S. firm -- blatantly wrong), but Fox's latest take of Fisker is not only much more accurate, but also caught a humorous and significant gaff. Apparently Vice President Joe Biden accidentally revealed Fisker's entire upcoming lineup -- including unannounced vehicles that Fisker indicates it wasn't exactly planning to reveal quite yet.
VP Biden tipped Fisker's hand at the official
for Fisker's new Delaware plant, an old GM factory which was shut down and sold through GM's bankruptcy holding. Speaking to reporters,
that Biden said, "I
magine when this factory, when the floor we’re standing on right now is making 100,000 plug-in hybrid sedans, coupes and crossovers every single year.
The only problem was that the coupes and crossovers were supposed to be a surprise announcement for a later date. However, good secrets seldom seem to be able to be kept and the Vice President unwittingly let the cat out of the bag. Interviewed after the announcement, c
ompany founder and CEO Henrik Fisker commented, "[Laughter]
He definitely told what our product plans are."
Aside from the leak, plenty more juicy details were revealed officially in the interview session following the announcements. Fisker revealed that the first vehicles to come from the plant will be the previously announced sedan, which is dubbed Nina. Fisker is targeting a price of
$40,000 for the vehicle after state and federal tax credits are taken into account, similar to the expected sticker for the 2011 Chevy Volt. Production will start in 2012, and the vehicle will recycle the sporty powertrain from Fisker's flagship electric sports sedan, Karma.
Reportedly, the stylings of the Nina, named after the ship Christopher Columbus used in his triumphant return to Europe, are very attractive for a mass-market EV. Government officials were briefed on the design and apparently were impressed, something that helped them reach the decision to grant the company a $528.7M USD DOE loan to buy and retool the shuttered plant.
Describes Mr. Fisker, "
It’s going to have a very exciting radical design.
We actually just showed it to the vice president of the United States of America and he said ‘it looks like a four-door Ferrari, I can’t believe it’s only going to be $40,000.’"
The Karma will begin production next year at
Valmet in Finland
and will be imported into the U.S. and sold for
after tax credits. Then in 2016 a second generation Karma will be launched, and production will shift to the retooled Delaware plant, according to Mr. Fisker. Mr. Fisker confirmed that the first generation Karma will
get 67 mpg
and travel 50 miles in all-electric mode. He says some drivers will be able to reach 100 mpg or more, depending on
how they drive
Mr. Fisker also revealed that the Karma will feature "stealth" and "sport" modes which allow the user to manually switch on or off the gas engine for more performance, something not known to be offered in the Chevy Volt. Even once the battery is depleted, Mr. Fisker states that the gas engine is almost equally efficient at delivering power to the electric motors as the battery system.
A prototype Karma was glimpsed at the
California's Laguna Seca raceway, running laps. That has been the vehicle's only live appearance so far, outside of auto shows. No journalist has yet taken the intriguing electric sports sedan out for a spin -- yet.
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