This is a good idea Genuinely compromised By Design
Fisker is a company driven by design. I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard that line from the namesake of the company, its public relations staff and engineers during my short trip to Los Angeles to lead the production version of the Fisker Karma 2012. And it is something that deserves to be repeated.
So is “production version” because the karma we have conducted this time last year was – at best – a prototype.
Fisker people are willing to admit that the initial launch event in an attempt to allay fears that – from customers, investors and the Department of Energy – that karma is not vaporware. They wanted to get butts in seats to show that he had built a functional vehicle. And our man Matt Davis’ initial impressions led Karma pre-production status.
The bat-source GM Ecotec turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder hummed incessantly through the cabin even when a little ‘pushed, and the materials inside, while the plush, looks like a mix of textures and assembly, none of which would acceptable in a luxury sedan costs upwards of $ 100,000 that was supposed to replace the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series parked in the garage of eco-conscious one-Percenters.
I am here to report a cliche: What a difference a year makes.
When Henrik Fisker has presented the concept of Karma in Detroit four years ago, said his team of designers, “make it work.” He would not allow them to change everything outside, which meant Includes edict had to be done, and the interior seems to have held the weight of all this.
While both front seat passengers have ample leg and shoulder room, the duo merely unfortunate in the back does not want to spend more than the 20 minutes required to prepare dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Cut. We saw small border post before, but karma takes the crown from the current reigning champion not only – the Aston Martin Rapide – but some coupes on the market. The same goes for the trunk space, which stands at a meager 6.9 cubic meters, which is enough to fit a couple of golf bags, but just enough for a pair of Louis Vuitton-armed weekend. And this is mainly due to the two, 120kW engine mounted under the rear wheels driving.
Much has been done on the transmission of the Karma, especially compared to the Chevrolet Volt fed similarly. As we discovered early, the voltage does not send a small amount of power from the engine to the front wheels in certain circumstances. Karma does not. This is a serial hybrid pure, meaning that the turbocharged engine mounted on the front is strictly meant for a generator to charge the battery when the juice runs out.
Connection and only works on power pulled from the net to net somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 miles before the battery is depleted and the engine kicks in to fill it. Fisker says that a normal 110-volt outlet will recharge the battery fully in about 12 hours, with 220-volt wire cutting in half the time.
During our 60 + Mile Drive on the highway, city streets and some of So Cal back in glorious, we have not run out of power until our last slog through bumper to bumper traffic.
Driving in this all-electric mode is called “Stealth” and the only sound that emanates from the karma is a pair of speakers mounted in front and back – imagine a Romulan Warbird to a minimum and this is what it feels when the rolls of Karma .
Nail the throttle and the engine mounted behind each delivers 120 kW (200 hp) to the rear wheels and impressive 479 pound-feet of torque – a lot. This is sufficient to accelerate the massive 5.300-pound sedan to 60 mph in about eight seconds. Flick the left paddle and you’re in sport mode, which shoots the turbo’d four-cylinder, melting capacity battery to deliver more oomph and a successful run at 60 in 6.3 seconds. If you leave it in stealth, you can top out at 100 mph, with sport to give the extra 25 mph top speed. And that infernal racket Mr. Davis experienced during his first run with karma? Gone. And ‘how quiet and refined as anything in the $ 100k + segment, maybe even more.
As you would expect of a wealthy couple sedan more than two tons and a half with two passengers on board, acceleration is brisk, but it pales in comparison to its sporty shape.