Ushering in the New Era of Auto
You might recognize Henrik Fisker’s work in the Aston Martin D89, the Aston Marton V8 Vantage or the BWM Z8, all designed by the eccentric designer. Today, Fisker is announcing something more akin to the Tesla Roadster; that is, the Karma and Karma S, both set to launch March 2011.
The Karma is a plug-in hybrid, basically an electronic car with onboard gas generator for battery recharge, extending the range to 300 miles / 400 km. Additional recharge is gained with regenerative breaking and solar panels positioned on the roof.
With 300 KW of power the Karama can do 0 – 60 MPH in 7.0 seconds, or if you also use the gas engine, 5.8 seconds. Its rechargeable in as little as six hours, using standard current.
When the battery is depleted, or when the driver engages Sport mode, the Karma’s 2.0L, turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine automatically turns a generator that sends electricity to two electric traction motors mounted directly to the rear differential. The single speed gear box assures a smooth and constant delivery of power to the wheels without hesitation.
Fisker was hoping for a 2010 launch but has been plagued with delays and finance issues. However, the first production Fisker Karma rolled off the production line in Europe today. With an official launch in March 2011, and possibly an IPO following, Fisker is a busy man these days. He founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 with Bernhard Koehler from BMW, and keeps houses in Germany, London and Southern California. He studied design at the short lived California Art Center College of Design’s Swiss campus.
Fisker has close to $1 billion of funding, including a $529 million U.S. Department of Energy loan to support the development of Karma and other car lines, with the hopes of eventually making good, long range, electronic cars available to the public world-wide.