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The $96,000 Fisker Karma is an exotic luxury sedan with a length of 16.5 feet, a width that surpasses 6 feet, a weight of over 2.5 tons, and it has a 403-horsepower powerplant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently gave the Fisker Karma hybrid a lower-than-expected 52 mpg-equivalent rating in combined city and highway driving. The massive weight of the Karma was blamed for the poor EPA rating, and now, the EPA has determined that the 2012 Fisker Karma range-extended plug-in hybrid is a subcompact.

The $96,000 Fisker Karma is an exotic luxury sedan with a length of 16.5 feet and a width that surpasses 6 feet. It's weight is over 2.5 tons, and it has a 403-horsepower electric powerplant. So why did the EPA categorize it as a subcompact? The interior volume of the Karma doesn't quite make the cutoff of 100 cubic-feet that distinguishes between a compact and a subcompact.


The auto industry typically uses overall length to determine the class of a vehicle, but the EPA uses interior volume to do so. This means that the Karma cannot be compared to other hybrids such as Chevrolet's Volt range-extended plug-in hybrid because it's considered a compact vehicle. The Prius is classified as a midsize.

Fisker said the classification of the Karma wouldn’t affect sales because those willing to spend $96,000 on the car "know what they are getting." Fisker also called the EPA's fuel economy rating the "worst case scenario," and still insists that the Karma will provide 50 miles on a single charge.


Another Fisker employee was a bit more annoyed with the EPA rating and subcompact classification, saying that comparing the Karma to other subcompacts like the Chevy Sonic "gives you a good idea of how much faith you should put in these fuel economy ratings."

The 52 mpg-equivalent rated by the EPA includes 32 miles of all-electric range and 20 mpg when its gasoline engine/generator kicks in to provide electricity once the battery pack is drained.

Source: Auto Observer





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