• Jan 12, 2009
Click above for high-res gallery of the Fisker Karma S

We came, we saw, we Karma'd. The Fisker Karma S concept convertible was unveiled this afternoon (after being very veiled earlier) and we like what we see. The new hardtop convertible shares the mustachioed front and four seats with its now-standard brother. More importantly, the same plug-in hybrid Q-Drive powertrain moves both cars, and will go for 50 miles on li-ion battery power. Longer drives can be handled with the help of the 2.0-liter Ecotec direct injection gas engine. Karma claims the cars get 100 miles-per-gallon.

As for the production version of the Karma we saw earlier, Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker announced that 1,300 have been pre-ordered; not bad for a car priced at $87,900 (only $80,400 after US government tax credits). Fisker Automotive hopes to sell 15,000 Karmas a year through its new dealer network. There are 20+ dealers already signed up, and about double that should be on board when the Karma becomes available at the end of the year.

We have an interview scheduled with Henrik Fisker later today and there's a B-Roll video after the jump. So, did the Karma S "blow your top"?





PRESS RELEASES:

FISKER UNVEILS KARMA S PLUG-IN HYBRID HARDTOP CONVERTIBLE CONCEPT AT 2009 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

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 concept apart.

"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."

About Fisker Automotive, Inc. Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies, is a privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles. North American corporate headquarters are located in Irvine, CA with Henrik Fisker as the Chief Executive Officer. The company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and QIA. More information is available at www.fiskerautomotive.com.

FISKER AUTOMOTIVE WORLDWIDE RETAIL NETWORK TAKES SHAPE

Industry Veteran Vic Doolan Leads Selection Process

IRVINE, CA Jan. 12, 2009: Fisker Automotive, the new American manufacturer of premium green automobiles, is building a worldwide retail network to support initial deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid sedan in the fourth quarter of 2009. Auto industry senior executive Vic Doolan, Director of Retail Development, is leading the effort.

Doolan's successful tenures as President, BMW North America and President and CEO of Volvo Cars North America make him well suited for the task. Specific appointments to the Fisker Automotive Retail Network will be announced in the coming months.

"Our retail network will give consumers confidence in the Fisker brand and its technology," said Doolan. "Partners will deliver the service to which premium clientele are accustomed."

LEADING THE FUTURE: FISKER AUTOMOTIVE UNVEILS 2010 FISKER KARMA PREMIUM PLUG-IN HYBRID PRODUCTION CAR

100mpg Fisker Karma Makes its World Premiere at the 2009 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT, MI. Jan. 12, 2009: 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. More information can be found online at www.fiskerautomotive.com

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 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

Also at the heart of defining the future is Fisker's retail network. A selective process to support initial deliveries is underway and interest from established dealers is high. Customers can expect a high level of service from retail partners that share their environmental and energy values.

ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC. Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies, is a privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles. North American corporate headquarters are located in Irvine, CA with Henrik Fisker as the Chief Executive Officer. The company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and QIA. More information is available at www.fiskerautomotive.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 6 Days Ago
      Great article, Sebastian - thanks for getting this information out to people like me, who may or may NOT make it to the show thsi year!

      It's great to see an energy efficient car that also looks great! Other than the $80,000, it's perfect for me!

      Glad to see that we are moving in the right direction!

      Bjorn
      • 6 Days Ago
      Both Fisker models are beautiful but have two strikes going against them for me: 1) they are hybrids, not all-electric; and 2) the Alfred E. Neuman grin grill needs to be removed--PLEASE!.
        • 6 Days Ago
        Gordio, I understand but it still has a gasoline engine. That means use of foreign oil. We want to get away from that as much as possible.

        And there still is the issue with the Alfred E. Neuman grill. Very unattractive.
        • 6 Days Ago
        Grin? I thought it looked more like a bad moustache! Either way, it's the most glaring flaw in an otherwise beautiful design.
        • 6 Days Ago
        It's not a hybrid the same way most hybrids are. The fisker karma is an electric car with a gasoline generator after u ran out of battery. the wheels are always powered by electric motors and nothing else.
      • 6 Days Ago
      This is one of the coolest designs i have ever seen when i saw it i guessed $100,000 the grill is pretty gay though. i wonder if its all wheel drive??? Its super snowy this year!!!!!!!