Fisker Karma EPA Rated Subcompact Despite Large Size
October 28, 2011 9:53 AM
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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."
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.
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It's not just the Karma
10/28/2011 2:46:34 PM
It may not make common sense, but the Fisker Karma isn't alone in being a large car the EPA thinks isn't. They also classify the Bentley Continental GTC, Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible and Aston Martin Rapide as subcompacts, the same categorization and the VW Beetle and the Mini Cooper Clubman.
I've driven a Fisker Karma and it doesn't seem small inside. It's a four passenger, four door sedan. I'm sute the measurements are correct, I just don't think they matter.
RE: It's not just the Karma
10/28/2011 3:57:50 PM
That's because you've never read how the EPA calculates interior volume
Interior Volume= Front Head x Front Leg x Front Shoulder or Front hip + Rear Head x Read Leg x Rear Shoulder or Rear Hip + Luggage Capacity All Seats in Place
This is how a Prius is a "Midsize". The large hatch gives it significant more interior volume despite its essentially the same size as a Corolla.
The Fisker Karma is 53.8 cubic feet front, 35 cubic feet rear, and 6.9 cubic feet luggage. A Typical sub compact is 50 cubic feet front, 38 rear, 12 luggage. A Civic for example is nearly this.. (I believe its 52/42/12)
Fisker is really losing out on rear seat space and luggage. The Fronts seats probably feel pretty spacious and have as much room as Corolla --> Camry type car. The large center console is hurting the space as well... because the hip room is 3-4" less than the shoulder which is odd.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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