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?

Related GalleryFisker Karma


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.