The production version of Henry Fisker's curvalicious Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan made its world premiere at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. Featuring only a few minor design changes from last year's concept model that include an enhanced upper grill, an enlarged lower intake and new aerodynamic diffuser under the rear bumper, the Karma has been sold out until mid-2010, as Fisker has already received 1,000 orders for the 100mpg luxury plug-in hybrid.
Fusing styling that could make BMW owners turn green from envy with a high-tech plug-in hybrid powertrain, the four-door, four-seat Karma also retails for a logical price that starts in the U.S. from $87,900.
The Karma utilizes Fisker's "Q-DRIVE" powertrain that comprises of two 201HP electric motors powered by an advanced lithium-ion technology battery pack. A generator attached to a GM derived 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec direct injection gasoline engine provides extended range capabilities.
The system features two operating modes: Stealth Mode and Sport Mode. In electric-only Stealth Mode, the Karma can travel emission free for up to 50 miles on a full charge from any 110-, 220- or 240-volt electric outlet. In Sport Mode, the system utilizes the 2.0 Turbo gasoline engine to turn a generator that powers the 402HP electric motors on the rear differential, offering a total range of up to 300 miles.
Fisker claims that a fully charged Karma can achieve an annual average of more than 100 miles per gallon. As for performance, the low-slung sport sedan can achieve a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of 5.8 seconds.
The Karma will be built by Valmet Automotive in Finland with the delivery of the more than 1,000 pre-ordered cars set to begin during the fourth quarter of the year. To commemorate initial production, Fisker has decided that the first 99 examples will be trimmed to match both interior and exterior specifications of the Karma prototype originally showcased at the 2008 NAIAS. Each car will feature a personalized plaque with a designated car number and signature from Henrik Fisker.