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Karma at plant in Finland  (Source: Autoweek)
First cars should hit U.S. next month

Most people would agree that the design of the majority of hybrids and EVs are dictated more by aerodynamics than by aesthetics. The average hybrid or EV is made more with an eye towards practicality and economy than sex appeal. Not all EVs and hybrids have to be boring though; the Tesla Roadster is a perfect example of an attractive EV.

Perhaps the best looking hybrid to ever hit a production line is the Fisker Karma. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid that has a gasoline engine and batteries. The Karma is able to drive for 50 miles on electricity alone with a full charge before the gasoline engine fires up.
Prototype Karma hybrids were being tested in late February. A few days after the Karmas went into testing, Fisker announced that they would sell for close to $100,000 and noted that it was planning an IPO for this year.

Fisker has now announced that production of the Karma hybrids have started. 

The final assembly of the Karma is being done in Finland at the Valmet Automotive plant. Valmet also does the final assembly for some Porsche AG vehicles as well. The Karma will still reportedly go 50 miles on a full charge, but that $100,000 price we heard about last month is now different according to AutoWeek.

AutoWeek reports that the Karma will start at $88,000 which still puts it easily into the upper end of the luxury segment. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said, "We're going to be ramping up very slowly, very carefully to ensure quality. This year we want to get over 7,000 deliveries."

Fisker still plans the IPO for this year reports AutoWeek and it has recently secured an additional $150 million in funding to help develop other models including the Nina sedan set to be built at a former GM plant in Delaware.



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Aerodynama...who?
By mars2k on 3/24/2011 10:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yes the Leaf is about as aero as a brick.
The Insight and Prius are not that slick either.
I don't think those cars are any more aero than say...a Ferrari or for that matter any other car sold today striving for better fuel efficiency.
They're just boxy-boring. The Fisker is prettier because it has to be to get the attention then wring the bucks out of the car nuts that will line up to buy one. Thank you Jay Leno




RE: Aerodynama...who?
By BZDTemp on 3/24/2011 2:43:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid you're mistaken. The Leaf is not great with regards to cw but the Honda and the Toyota is doing pretty well.

A Prius has a cw of 0.24 and a Ferrari 458 is 0.33 which in fact is low for a sports car. The difference should mean a Prius needs something like 20-30% less energy to move trough the air than a 458 at highway speed on top of which comes less rolling resistance, a then there is the drivetrain...


RE: Aerodynama...who?
By Keeir on 3/24/2011 4:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Something that is often missed in the discussion of Aerodynamics, it that its not about overall aerodynamics, its more about efficieny of aerodynamics.

Car-A*Cd=-Wieght-IV
Prius-24.4*0.25=6.1-3042-115
A4-24.0*0.28=6.72-3527-103
A8-25.8*0.26=6.71-4453-115
Q5-28.8*0.33=9.5-4090-131
A3-23.1*0.33=7.6-3296-109

Leaf-25.5*0.29=7.4-3366-105

Overall, the Prius is 10% more efficient when it comes to create interior room per unit of drag than the best of the A4/A8/Q5. The Prius is 18% more efficient when it comes to create interior room per unit of wieght than the best of the A4/A8/Q5. (I choose Audi models due to the ease of information of the website)

A direct comparison to the A3, a similiar sized hatchback model, the Prius is 30% more efficient for interior room/AeroDrag and 14% more efficient for interior room/wieght.

I will agree that the Leaf is... not so great a balance. Its still slighly better Aerodynamics than most C-segment Hatchs, but falls significantly behind the Prius.

Now, lets look at a Ferrari... the 599
24.3*Cd-


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