• Nov 21, 2008
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?



PRESS RELEASE:

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny all the folks commenting on GM's styling of this vehicle. It's not styled by GM at all, nor is it a GM vehicle. Read the article: "Fisker chose GM as its powertrain supplier." The relationship with GM is merely for Fisker to take advantage of an existing engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      what's the max efficiency of the turbo'd 2 liter? the great thing about using a gas engine to charge batteries is that you can run it at whatever point is most efficient, since you don't need to be at different points in the RPM range. I'd imagine that at 2500 or 3000 RPM this engine's pretty damn efficient, forcing enough air in to keep the power up, but not dumping in fuel and running inefficiently. Kudos to Fisker for looking at all options available.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wonder what the charge time off the engine will be. If I'm driving on the highway, will it be forty miles on, forty miles off? I'm also guessing that its not nearly as powerful as one would think because you've got to subtract enough power output from the engine to keep the car moving (and assume that any acceleration can be pulled back out of the battery pack.)

        This whole drivetrain, not that I've got anything against it, reminds me of taking out a loan. You get a lot of power initially (full battery) and then once you use that up you've still got enough to get by, but if you need to have any extra spending, it sets you off in paying your loan off. Then you've built up some savings (full battery) and it starts all over again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gas engines are most efficient at full throttle. I don't know what revs though.

        A turbo might be different, since you can still vary the power output without closing the throttle plate by changing the boost levels. I doubt GM has this capability in their software, but maybe they can add it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now, that is one ugly car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        are you serious!? the front might not be the prettiest but look at that side profile!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Absolutely right. The front grill looks as if the car has a moustache. My God! Apart from that, the whole car looks like a rip off of the Maserati GranTurismo to me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't understand why GM claims to have had to tone down the concept's design language and give it a Prius silhouette in order to acheive aerodynamics that would allow high MPG. The Karma does not have a profile that remotely resembles the Volt, Prius, or upcoming Insight and it projects MPG and range comparable if not better than the Volt. Plus it has better performance figures. So, did GM have to cop-out on design?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Toyota and GM were aiming their cars at the mass-market consumer. The Fisker Karma will sell for around $80,000. Somehow, spending extra money on a car means the designers and engineers can do more...

        The Karma's styling has really grown on me. The company recently signed a lease on a 34,000 square foot facility in Pontiac. Michigan. They plan on beginning production in late 2009, ramping up to 15,000 cars a year by 2011. The company has contracts with GM, Ford, and the US military.



        • 6 Years Ago
        Economy
        Interior space
        Utility
        Price...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think GM wanted to cop-out on design. The windtunnel made the decision for them. And i was fully expecting Volt to look somewhat like Prius. I'm sure Toyota spent lots of wind tunnel time finding the most aero shape they could.

        Now if GM wanted the ultimate in aero dynamics they'd look up the EV1's body. I think its still the most aerodynamic production vehicle made.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the front really kills the look, the two areas of the grille remind me of the guy on the pringles can.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SEX

      ON

      WHEELS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too bad GM's not using that engine configuration as much as they should...
      • 6 Years Ago

      I was expecting an LS9...

      • 6 Years Ago
      why not use the newest iteration of the VW/Audi 2.0t, which is far superior and has won numerous awards?
        • 6 Years Ago
        D'OH! Forgot there was a 260hp version
        • 6 Years Ago
        Superior at what? Being less powerful?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The latest version of the Audi/VW 2.0T makes 265PS, which is almost exactly 261HP.

        But I was just wondering what makes it "far superior".

        I'd take the LNF EcoTec over a VW/Audi 2.0T any day. First of all, it's not a VW/Audi. Additionally, the EcoTec has a twin-scroll turbo for less lag.

        Although I would like a 6-speed on EcoTec, and GM doesn't offer that, at least on their own models. VW of course does.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Define "far superior".
        • 6 Years Ago
        Price?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great move. Great motor.

      Lotus should offer the EcoTec LNF in the Elise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        how did you get your picture to load? what are the dimensions it needs to be? i've been trying for a few weeks now.

        2010 is gonna be a good year.


      • 6 Years Ago
      The turbo'd Ecotec is a pretty sweet setup. I'm excited to see what kinda performance this will be able to do with this setup.

      I am still not sold on the Fisker grill, but the Genesis sedan's grill grew on me, so maybe this will too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      kinda looks like a 4 door corvette from that side profile shot.
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