The Fisker Karma made its world driving debut on August 15th, 2009 during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races. The event was held at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, California. The Karma did one, complete, twisting lap at the raceway, hitting speeds of up to 100 MPH without using a single drop of gasoline. Here is a video of the car in action at the event. Notice the aggressive, jet turbine-like acceleration note, a fair consolation for those who will miss the growl of a V8 engine.
Fisker Karma Performance Specs:
Plug-in hybrid technology Q DRIVE: 50 miles on a full charge, then a gasoline, charge-sustaining generator kicks in to replenish battery power
Two Driving Modes: The driver will be able to select between two modes of driving. The first mode is Stealth Drive, which is the quiet economy mode for optimal relaxed and efficient driving. By flipping the second paddle behind the steering wheel, the car will switch to Sport Drive, which will access the full power of the vehicle.
0-60 in 7.5 seconds (0-100 km/h 7.5 seconds) Top speed 95 mph (153 km/h)
0-60 in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h 5.8 seconds) Top speed 125 mph (200 km/h)
Regenerative brakes featured to recapture braking energy
Low center of gravity provides optimal sport vehicle driving dynamics
The Fisker Karma Sunset is not only a convertible adaptation of the 2011 Fisker Karma, but will also claim the honor of being called the world’s first hybrid convertible. The Sunset will have a folding hardtop, be capable of 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and have a 125 MPH top speed, all while being a serial hybrid that you can drive 40 miles gas free. The regular Karma will retail for $87,900; expect a healthy premium for the S. Since the Sunset will be a coupe, it will only feature two larger doors and the rear seat passengers will inevitably be more cramped. Fisker’s Karma Sunset concept was already named the 2009 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year.
DETROIT, MI Jan 12, 2009: Fisker Automotive, the new American manufacturer
of premium green automobiles, unveiled the Fisker Karma S concept at the 2009
North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today. The four-seat, plug-in
hybrid hardtop convertible furthers the company’s belief that driving style and
performance need not be compromised for environmental friendliness.
The open-air Fisker Karma S concept shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture
and clean Q-DRIVE® powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. Designed and
engineered by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE®
provides 50 emission-free miles on a single charge to its lithium-ion battery pack,
and up to 403hp from two electric motors. The power retractable hard top, a first
for Fisker, glides neatly into the trunk and a unique design language sets the Karma S
“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-
of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker.
“The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-
conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future.“
Wow, this is a great looking car. The grill has been widened to aid in air intake and cooling for the 2.0L EcoTec four cylinder from GM. Kind of a huge powerplant for just extending the electric range and not driving the wheels. The electric motor will be at the back, and you can see in the shot the back end of the car now has an air diffuser that sucks the hot air out of the electric motor. I think this makes it look very cool. Compare it to the previous back end:
Fisker Automotive’s First Production Vehicle, the Fisker Karma, to Be Showcased at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)
IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 2 — Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium sports car company, today announced that its first production car, the Fisker Karma, will be showcased at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). With only minor design enhancements made to the exterior of the vehicle, the production Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid retains the extreme proportions and beautiful sculpture of the January 2008 Karma show car.
“We are very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS,” said Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker. “In the year since we debuted the Karma, the reception we’ve received has been tremendous. I’m proud to announce at this time that we are already sold out on the car until mid-2010.”
With a base price of $87,900 (USD), the Fisker Karma is scheduled to begin delivery in November 2009. Featuring the proprietary Q-Drive powertrain, the Fisker Karma will have an all-electric range of 50 miles (80km). After the all electric 50 miles, the gasoline engine turns a generator to charge the lithium ion battery. Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the Fisker Karma can be used as a normal hybrid vehicle. With this balance of electric and gas range, Fisker Automotive estimates that most Karma drivers who charge the Karma overnight and commute less than 50 miles per day will be able to achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4L/100km) per year.
The production model to be featured at the 2009 NAIAS will include an upper grill that is graphically enhanced, being slightly larger towards the outer corners. The lower air intake has been enlarged to allow for more airflow and underneath the rear bumper, an aerodynamic diffuser includes the integration of a cooling cover for the electric drivetrain.
To optimize cooling and aerodynamics, the exhaust pipe from the ICE engine is routed directly out behind the front wheels. A small functional side vent will release the hot air when the ICE engine is turned on. The Fisker Karma also features a complete flush B-pillar. The B-pillar is a safety feature and already fulfills the proposed 2012 rollover protection safety regulations.
Underneath the Karma is an all aluminum spaceframe made in cooperation with Norsk Hydro. The exterior body is a combination of aluminum panels and composite panels.
The Karma has a unique sustainable interior strategy. The design of the interior cabin is a luxurious tailored space for four adults. The interior will be unveiled for the first time in its final form at the 2009 NAIAS.
The vehicle’s ride and handling is decisively sporty and includes very responsive steering. The Karma’s long wheel base, wide track and low center of gravity provide excellent cornering and stability at highway speeds. The innovative powertrain, Q-drive, utilizes a large, powerful lithium ion battery and a powerful 2-liter direct injected turbo-charged 4-cylinder gasoline engine developing 260 hp, which enables the Karma to achieve a continuous top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 of 5.8 seconds. The large powerful lithium ion battery provides 22.6 kWh, which has unique control software. The two powerful electric motors deliver a combined 408 hp.
Additional features of the Karma include: Karma Powertrain “Q-Drive” Powertrain Overview Description The Karma powertrain is a high performance, high efficiency, plug-in hybrid electric system comprised of three electric machines, three inverters, a turbo-charged 2.0 L high-feature DI gasoline engine and an advanced Lithium- ion technology battery pack. This hardware combination coupled with the innovative Q-Drive control system provides for a unique driving experience where energy, power, feel, and fuel economy are optimized to satisfy driver demands.
Energy Storage System The energy storage system incorporates an advanced lithium-ion chemistry battery pack with integrated control and safety systems that ensure safe and powerful operation throughout the operating life. The system has a maximum storage capacity of 22.6 kW-hrs and is capable of delivering a peak electric power of 200 kW (500 Amps at 400 Volts) throughout the charge depleting range of operation. The Advanced Lithium Power battery pack has been designed for the rigorous requirements of the automotive environment, and is a full “plug and play unit” utilizing all advanced vehicle communications software. The battery pack uses inherently safe cell chemistry and has been designed with multiple levels of software and hardware features to ensure optimal performance while providing the highest levels of safety features.
Powertrain Electric Traction The power dense dual motor traction drive is capable of delivering a peak output mechanical power of 300 kW (408 hp) and a peak torque of 1300 Nm (959 Ft-lb) to the input of the differential. In Sport mode this provides for a high performance luxury sport sedan acceleration time of 0 to 60 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than 6 seconds. The sustained (electronic limited) top speed is 125 mph (200 km/h).
Click above for high-res gallery of the Fisker Karma
Fisker Automotive has apparently decided that 260 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque should be plenty of power to recharge some batteries. Those 260 galloping ponies will come courtesy of the General in the form of its 2.0L direct injected and turbocharged Ecotec four banger, an engine that we’ve sampled ourselves plenty of times. We feel well qualified, therefore, to suggest that this is an excellent motor, but it really sounds like a major case of overkill for this particular application. Perhaps that’s better than “underkill” (if such a word actually existed) as that powerful engine ought to be able to recharge the Fisker Karma’s on-board lithium ion batteries at an extremely brisk pace. The faster the internal combustion engine can charge up the battery pack, the quicker the car can revert back to its native electric-only operation. Plus, that engine is a relatively light chunk of alloy, so the Karma’s motor shouldn’t be burdened by the gasoline-fed boat anchor too horribly under electric power.
We also find it a bit interesting that Fisker chose GM as its powertrain supplier, which means that the Karma and GM’s own Chevy Volt are now even closer cousins than before. Both vehicles will sport four doors, lithium ion batteries and an extended-range electric vehicle drivetrain; and with this announcement, both are now slated to share four cylinder engines from GM. This kinda makes ’em second-cousins through marriage, no?
Fisker Automotive Announces Intent to Source General Motors Components
IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium car company, today announced that General Motors has been selected to supply, through its on-highway integrator Powertrain Integration LLC, the gasoline engine that will be used in the Fisker Karma, Fisker Automotive’s new Extended Range Hybrid Electric Vehicle. GM’s Powertrain organization will supply the gasoline engine that generates electricity when the driver has exceeded the 50 mile electric-only range. The 2.0 direct injection, turbo-charged 4-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine will deliver 260 horsepower. Fisker Automotive is also considering the purchase of several additional GM vehicle components to enhance the Karma.
“Given General Motors global leadership in the parts and accessories space, the fact that it is already engineering parts for extended range electric vehicles, and its commitment to helping the environment, it was clear that this was the right partner for us,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “We are confident that this is the beginning of an important partnership between GM and Fisker Automotive in developing the most desirable fuel efficient vehicles of the future.”
“GM is proud that Fisker Automotive has selected one of the world’s best powertrains for installation into the new Karma,” said Tom Stephens, Executive Vice President of GM Powertrain and Global Quality. “The advanced design of this engine offers a superior performance-to-weight ratio that makes it the right choice for the Fisker Hybrid Electric Vehicle. As a leader in the automotive industry in the development of fuel efficient and energy diverse powertrains, GM sees significant opportunity in working with Fisker Automotive, a visionary company developing products that embody both exciting vehicle design as well as technology friendly to our environment.”
Initial domestic deliveries of Fisker Automotive’s first car, the Karma, will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010. Fisker Automotive’s annual production is projected to reach 15,000 cars, with more than half of sales expected to be overseas.
Fisker Automotive, Inc.
Fisker Automotive is a privately owned car company with Henrik Fisker as the CEO. Fisker Coachbuild, LLC will be the exclusive design house for Fisker Automotive through the entire range of product development. The company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Palo Alto Investors and an affiliate of Qatar Investment Authority.
The Karma’s Q DRIVE configuration consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. The vehicle will have an all electric range of 50 miles before the gasoline powered 4-cylinder engine generator kicks in. After this, the full range jumps up to over 350 miles. The Karma has regenerative braking that will help recharge the batteries, much like the Tesla Roadster and many modern electric vehicles. Patrons will also have the option to purchase a full-length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked. Fisker Automotive will even offer consumers an option to purchase a set of solar panels for their roofs or garages where they can generate electricity during the day to charge the car overnight.
Initial deliveries will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009, with annual production projected to reach 15,000 units. More info can be found at fiskerautomotive.com.