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Click above for high-res gallery of the Fisker Karma

Fisker Automotive may be knee-deep in a legal battle with electric car pioneer Tesla Motors, but the fledgling automaker is still committed to producing its stunning Karma plug-in electric vehicle by Q4 2009. Henrik Fisker and crew have received so much negative press regarding the pending lawsuit that it issued a press release to ensure prospective buyers that that the Karma was on its way, but also to explain where its PHEV technology originates.

Fisker calls the lawsuit "nonsense," and points out that his design company, Fisker Coachbuild, has non-exlusive design contracts with many automakers. The press release, which is available after the jump, shows that Fisker is getting its PHEV tech from a company called Quantum Technologies, which has also created electric vehicles for the U.S. Armed Forces. The release doesn't specifically address Tesla's contention that Fisker stole electric vehicle design secrets, but then again it's probably not a good idea to discuss pending litigation in any real detail.

It seems as though Tesla Motors is just a little peeved that the Karma's design is superior to the one Fisker Coachbuild designed for its upcoming WhiteStar sedan, which we're hoping to see soon so we can know what all the fuss is about.

[Source: Fisker Automotive]


Fisker Automotive on Track for 2009 Fourth Quarter Delivery Despite Recent Allegations

IRVINE, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Fisker Automotive, Inc. announced that the company is on track for delivery of the Fisker Karma in Q4 2009, and that it will vigorously defend the recent allegations put forth by Tesla. Tesla Motors breached the arbitration agreement in its contract with Fisker by filing these meritless claims in San Mateo County court.

"The lawsuit is nonsense," said Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. "Fisker Coachbuild has non-exclusive design contracts as shown by the cars we have designed for a variety of manufacturers."

Fisker Automotive launched the highly anticipated Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) premium vehicle at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The revolutionary technology incorporated into the powertrain was developed by Quantum Technologies, a public company, which first proved its capability with the launch of a U.S. military vehicle created for U.S. Army Special Operations in 2003.

"In January of 2007 I first met Henrik Fisker. Soon thereafter, I became convinced that a strategic alliance joining together Quantum's (PHEV) unique technology position with Fisker's design expertise could be leveraged into a company capable of launching the first premium sports sedan for the (PHEV) segment," expressed Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO, Quantum Technologies. "In August 2007 that vision became a reality with the inception of Fisker Automotive Inc., effectively combining Quantum's (PHEV) drivetrain expertise with a remarkable design from Fisker Coachbuild LLC."

"We are confident that Fisker Automotive continues to be a tremendous investment opportunity," said Ray Lane, Kleiner Perkins. "The design innovation of Henrik Fisker combined with the hybrid drive train experience of Quantum is unique in the automotive market."

The Fisker name for more than a decade has attracted and attained worldwide recognition. Henrik Fisker has more than 19 years of experience in the automotive and product design arena. Some of his pioneering includes work on the BMW E-1 electric car in 1991, the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Most recently Fisker Coachbuild created the Fisker Tramonto and Fisker Latigo CS in 2005.

"Fisker Coachbuild is proud of its premier reputation for design work and we look forward to continuing to build on that reputation," said Henrik Fisker.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Karma" is on track to deliver the real blueprints to Telsa by 2009.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oops, I meant Tesla.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's the modern Joker-mobile.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In person this car is awesome. Definately my favorite debut at Detroit. It has presence galore. And if it does actually sell for 80K it puts all other 80K cars to shame in looks.

      But we shall see.
      • 7 Years Ago
      change the grill and its a pretty sweet car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who wants a moustache ride?!
      • 7 Years Ago
      "plug-in electric vehicle" isn't a ood way to describe this car. Most electric vehicles plug in to charge. What's missing is that this one isn't an electric vehicle, it's a hybrid. It's a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) or as Tesla is calling them range extended electric vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not enamored of the design like I am of Fisker's other penmanship.

      On the lawsuit front, my understanding is that Tesla wants a mainstream vehicle to produce, not a high-end like the Fisker. With that, did they think they would get a BMW design for the price of a Cobalt? I'm sorry, a design house is going to have to consider costs of dies/stamping and such. If memeory serves, Tesla wanted the whitestar to come in at the upper 70's. Well, if a 40K Elsie is a 100K Tesla, you are looking at a Mazda6-like Tesla, not a Bimmer Tesla.
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