Fisker Automotive, Inc., the new American manufacturer of premium green automobiles, unveiled its first production car - the 2010 Fisker Karma – at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit today. With a starting price of $87,900 $80,400 after US government tax credits), 1,000 orders for the 100 mile-per-gallon luxury plug-in hybrid have been received since the prototype debuted at the 2008 NAIAS. Karma deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 through the Fisker Automotive Retail network.
The four-door, four-seat Karma fuses the traditional and timeless styling of veteran auto designer and Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker, with Quantum Technologies' clean Q-DRIVE® plug-in hybrid powertrain to become the world's first luxury plug-in hybrid car.
Q-DRIVE®: POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY
Exclusive to Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE® provides the best combination of power, efficiency and low emissions. The system is comprised of two 201hp electric motors powered by an advanced lithium-ion technology battery pack. A generator attached to a 260hp turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec® direct injection (D1) gasoline engine provides extended range capabilities.
"More than 60 percent of America's 200 million drivers travel less than 50 miles per day. With Q-DRIVE®, the Karma can do that without using a drop of gas. This proprietary powertrain will provide a base for all future model derivatives from Fisker Automotive." said Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.
Q-DRIVE® features two operating modes: Stealth Mode and Sport Mode. In electric-only Stealth Mode, drivers can travel emission free for up to 50 miles on a full charge from any 110-, 220- or 240-volt electric outlet. A total range of up to 300 miles is estimated in Sport Mode, which utilizes the efficient Ecotec® gasoline engine to turn a generator that powers two electric motors on the rear differential. A fully charged Karma can achieve an annual average of more than 100 miles per gallon.
With a top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds, the Karma is the world's first true premium plug-in hybrid sports sedan. The Karma's low center of gravity and performance oriented, A-arm suspension system offer a world class driving experience. Tall, wide tires deliver immense lateral grip while electrohydaulic disc brakes provide effortless stopping power.
LUXURY AND STYLE
Karma's exterior design features the continual flow of sculpture and dramatic proportion that is signature Fisker style. A low, wide stance and raised front fenders offer the driver a unique view of the car's design. Modest changes from the original Karma prototype include an enhanced upper grill and an enlarged lower intake for improved airflow. A new aerodynamic diffuser under the rear bumper helps cool the electric drivetrain. Instantly recognizable, the Karma also benefits from having the world's largest continuously formed glass solar panel roof on a car – an industry first and a standard feature on all Karma sedans.
"From initial concept to final production, it is important for Fisker to maintain a singular design language and to keep the integrity of the original design, inside and out. Extreme proportions, beautiful sculpture and earth-friendly materials are key elements that set the Karma apart," said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. "An inspiring drive is also an important and crucial element. Our hope is that the Fisker Karma will create a new segment of eco-friendly transportation and will become the most desirable plug-in hybrid sports sedan available."
A desirable car of any kind requires an inviting cockpit. Fisker's interior design team focused on sustainable design held accountable to the environment. Inspiration from nature's timeless beauty and the quality of classic design composition provided immense inspiration. Karma's Sustainable and Accountable Design is reflected in the use of reusable materials enhanced with modern technology. For example, wood trim is sourced from non-living trees: 'Fallen Trees' that have succumbed to age; 'Rescued Trees' burned in forest fires; and 'Sunken Trees' lying in American lake bottoms.
Karma's instrumentation and controls focus on ease of use. Embedded in the layered EcoGlass™ center console is a 10.2-inch touch sensitive screen controlling HVAC, audio and other vehicle systems. LCD gauges behind the steering wheel provide display critical information like battery charge and vehicle speed.
"The Karma's material philosophy balances sensuality and accountability," said Fisker. "We have gone to great lengths to use only environmentally conscious, classic automotive materials that support a commitment to our eco initiatives. At Fisker Automotive we are trying to inspire change for the better."
Karma buyers will choose from three trim levels: EcoBase™, EcoSport™ and EcoChic™. The most advanced sustainable material series, EcoChic™, is based on an animal-free approach that still offers a luxurious environment. Leather is replaced by 100% Bamboo Viscose, a soft hand textile, while EcoGlass™ trim frames authentic fossilized leaves. Karma's EcoSport™ series incorporates hand-wrapped premium leather using a 100% sustainable manufacturing strategy, which minimizes the number of hides required and highlights natural markings.
KARMA PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY
To meet production goals, Fisker turned to specialty builder Valmet Automotive in Finland. Delivery of the more than 1,000 pre-ordered Karmas will begin this year. To commemorate initial production, 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 will feature a personalized plaque with a designated car number and signature from Henrik Fisker.
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