Fisker's long-awaited follow-up to their more-than-a-$100K sports sedan is finally here. At least the promise of the follow-up to the Karma is finally here. Well, as a concept anyway. The Fisker Atlantic plug-in hybrid design prototype — once called the Nina — finally made it's debut last night here ahead of the New York Auto Show.
Like Apple's coolest products, which have turned people who don't care about computers into cultish gadget geeks, the Karma is cutting-edge technology wrapped in a jaw-dropping package and offered at a competitive price. It may fall short on engine refinement or trunk space or whatever, but when the overall package is this compelling, those things just don't matter. Magic has a way of transcending flaws--again, just look at the iPhone.
Mr. Bitton, president and CEO of Fisker of Montreal, said, “This new Fisker brand will fit perfectly within our premium brand portfolio. With its elegance and green power, Fisker will add a new level of diversity to the range of vehicles already available in our prestigious dealership. It is a source of pride for us to be the first and only group to offer this innovative brand in Quebec, a brand that will make heads turn while taking a proactive stance towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Two U.S. senators have asked the Obama administration to explain why it approved a $529 million loan to startup Fisker Automotive, which has suspended U.S. production of a heavily touted plug-in electric car as it revamps its business plan. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and John Thune, a senior Republican member of the Finance and Commerce committees, asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu whether it was wise to grant financing to Fisker, which ran into production problems after receiving part of the loan.
In a report filed recently on the agency’s Web site, Fisker said some hose clamps were not properly positioned, which could allow a coolant leak. “If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the worse case,” the company told the safety agency.
Apart from the federal loan the company received, Fisker says it has raised about $470 million in private equity money and already has 3,000 worldwide orders in hand (Colin Powell, Al Gore, and Leonard DiCaprio are early buyers). It recently purchased a former GM auto plant in Delaware at which it plans to build the Karma; in the next three years, the factory will also be turning out a Fisker with the working title of N-Series in the $50,000 range. By 2016, the company expects to be producing 100,000 vehicles annually.
Facing the full flood of electrons, the dual electric motors (coupled to act like one) shovel a nice 403 horsepower and a naughty 901 pound-feet of torque to the single-speed gear reduction. Technically, that's more torque than a Bugatti Veryon--technically. At 5.9 seconds to 60 mph, the Sport-mode time is some 3.2 seconds slower than the mighty Bug's, but it's a swift and acoustically interest rush.
To give you some sense of the Karma's scale, it's the same length as a Mercedes-Benz CLS with the wheelbase of an S-Class. Yet it's only the height of a Porsche 911 and is 5cm wider than a Panamera. So it's low, wide--very wide--with a long wheelbase for its overall size. If this numbers add up to a GT rather than a four-door luxury saloon, that's no mistake. Because that's just how the aluminum space-framed and bodied Karma looks when you get up close to it. It's like the solar-roofed concept for the next Aston Martin Rapide or Maserati Quattroporte that you can buy today.
The Fisker Karma hybrid combines electric motors with a gasoline-powered generator. It has a range of 300 miles and can travel 50 miles on batteries alone.
Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, who share over 51 years of combined experience in the automotive world, decided to forge a new and radical perspective on what is possible in the automotive world. In 2007, they founded Fisker Automotive, a true automobile manufacturer which introduced the world's first premium hybrid electric vehicle, the Fisker Karma. An American company, the orange and blue in the Fisker logo represent a California sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The vertical bars represent the designer's pen (Henrik Fisker) and the creator's tools (Bernhard Koehler).
With Fisker Automotive, it’s not only the car’s powertrain that is environmentally friendly. There are so many other things, around the car and around the company. In the car, there is the reclaimed wood, the solar roof panel, the animal-free Eco Chic interior. And then around the company, we have the solar signs for the dealers, the Delaware factory’s low-energy lighting, the old wood flooring we took from there and installed here in the headquarters. We as a brand must be credible, all the way through.