Fisker Karma  
Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma
Price: $96,895+
Drive Motors: AC perm-magnet synchronous
(DM) HP & Torque: 402 hp, 959 lb-ft
Generator Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4
(GE) HP & Torque: 260 hp, 260 lb-ft
Generator: AC perm-magnet synchronous
Horsepower: 235 hp
Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
0-60 MPH: 5.9 sec.
Top Speed: 125 mph (est.)
EST. MPG: Combined, electric only: 85 MPGe, City/hwy: 33/38 mpg


It's About Karma
Written by Nicolas Bates

Up until now, the manufacturers of most electric vehicles had only one thing in mind: efficiency. Tesla Motors, with their Roadster, had a different outlook on what an electric car should embody, and created one of the fastest zero emission all-electric vehicles to hit the market. Fisker Automotive, co-founded by automobile designer Henrik Fisker and investor Bernhard Koehler, had a different idea, however, on what an electric vehicle should exemplify, and the plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan, the Karma, was created.

Before being told the Fisker Karma was a plug-in hybrid, most automotive enthusiasts would probably already take an interest in the car based solely on its looks. With its high-arced wheel wells, its long, flowing body and its extremely long wheelbase (falling within a quarter of an inch of the Mercedes S-Class), the car exudes an air of sophistication. There is no question when eyes fall upon this car, that it is, in fact, a vehicle of luxury. The Karma seems to have a slight incestuous bond with the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, but that comes as no surprise as Henrik Fisker had a hand in the design of both vehicles. The slightly futuristic look of the car is well suited to its more-than-slightly-futuristic "go parts."

The Karma boasts a total range of 300 miles; 50 miles of which are zero emission and 250 miles of which are internal combustion-assisted. The Karma's internal combustion engine is a 2.0-liter General Motors Ecotec turbocharged four-cylinder providing 260-hp. The internal combustion engine never actual powers the Karma; instead it powers a generator that is then tethered to two AC motors that turn the differential. The Karma is also outfitted with a 20 kW-hr Li-on battery for propulsion purposes. The final output of power the Karma receives is that of 402-hp. Thanks to its 1-speed direct drive transmission, the Karma has a massive output of 959 lb-ft of torque. The driver decides how quickly they would like to reach their destination with a choice of two drive modes: stealth mode and sport mode. In stealth mode, the car relies solely on its 20 kW-hr li-ion battery for propulsion. This will get the car from 0-60 mph in 7.9—nothing short of disappointing. However, switch to sport mode and the car will receive a boost from the 2.0-liter Ecotec. Now the car will do 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Oh, much, much better. Considering the Karma has a curb weight of 4,100 lb., 5.9 seconds isn't too bad at all.

Electric vehicles will have to be our future if we want sustainable travel. This is being debated less and less. With what Fisker has created with the Karma, society will be brought into the world of electric vehicles with much more ease. However, with almost a $100,000 price tag, electric vehicle technology is still at a premium; especially when said vehicle is deemed a "luxury vehicle." Regardless, what the Karma is and what it has brought to the table cannot be easily scoffed at. Perhaps the Karma is the good energy at the beginning of a trend that will shape the future.

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