• Dec 23rd 2010 at 1:57PM
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Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Quick pop quiz: what was the original price of the Fisker Karma when it was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2008? $80,000. That price seems quaint compared to a reader email we got today that says that Fisker Automotive is going to up the price (again) to $95,900. (In late 2008, Fisker said the Karma would cost $87,900.) Of course, we already know that this luxury plug-in hybrid has been delayed – the original release date was late 2009 – and that the company will be passing on the 2010 Detroit show. Still, by all accounts, the first customers delivers will take place some time in the spring of 2011. Probably.

The price increase information comes from an email sent to reader Nick from Fisker of Santa Monica and Nick writes to use that the email said "final" pricing for the 2011 Fisker Karma sedan is as follows:
EcoStandard: $95,900
EcoSport: $103,000
EcoChic: $108,900

Note that all of the above models also incur a $950 destination charge on top of the above MSRPs.

They've also given guidance on options which are now at the following levels:
Tri-Tone Leather Interior: $2,200
Diamond Dust Paint (thought originally to be standard): $3,000
"Special Paint" : $3,000

Karma should be available for a test drive in late February or early March according to the e-mail.
We've asked Fisker for confirmation about this information, but given the history, it wouldn't surprise us if it's all true. Thanks to Nick for the tip!

*UPDATE: Turns out, that $80,000 price from the 2008 NAIAS is now being called "an estimated price range," even though the press release at the time said Fisker "proudly presents its first vehicle ... with a starting price of $80,000." We heard back from Fisker spokesman Russell Datz, who writes:
The Karma will be the first car to offer luxury vehicle buyers a truly responsible alternative.
With a starting price of $95,900 the Karma is hands down the best value combination of style, performance, efficiency, luxury, sustainability and exclusive powertrain technology.
At $88,400 after federal tax incentives, the Karma is within $500 of its originally announced MSRP of $87,900. Local incentives offer additional savings.
With an MSRP of $95,900 the Karma is within 10% of the originally announced MSRP of $87,900 announced in 2009 - an incremental change over the course of two years.
The Karma starts $19,500 less than a similarly-equipped Tesla Roadster - $20,500 less when you include destination charges.
The Karma starts $1,400 less than a Porsche Panamera S (both 400hp) after $7500 federal tax incentives are applied. Local incentives offer additional savings. Karma can run on no gas and will be much more exclusive.
There is additional value added in design and equipment improvements such as the now-standard integrated solar roof panel, which would have been a $5000 option
So, yeah. $95,900.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Being a person with a deposit, I agree with many points here:

      1.) the $8k has zero impact on my decision to buy the car, but still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
      2.) Their lack of communication with depositors is horrendous. It's definitely a sign of a business that is currently over their heads.
      3.) The lack of communication is even worse with dealers! I'm frequently telling my dealer the latest news that I find out via "google"...
      4.) If this car gets delayed much past March, I'm done trying to be green...Maserati Gran Turismo S, here I come...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sebastian, the answer to your pop quiz is not $ 80.000, but $ 80.000 to $ 100.000. That lowest price did not include the solar panel roof, a $ 5000 option which is now standard. So we have seen a real price increase of 12,5% over a period of three years. Does that make for dramatic headlines?

      Why are you talking about 'an already-expensive' Karma? Even at $ 95.900 the Karma offers a lot more - in styling, technology, luxury, practicallity - than the $ 105.000 Tesla Roadster or even a high-end Lexus, Audi or BMW. Ever seen the options lists of an Audi or BMW? They dwarf those few options that are left for the Karma-buyer. Sure, it's not a cheap car, but then, it isn't a Toyota Prius.

      This is what it takes to develop new technology, which can then trickle down from the Fisker Karma to more affordable cars like the Fisker Nina (or, in the case of Tesla, from the Roadster to the Model S).

      • 4 Years Ago
      An undeniable confirmation of the astounding great work GM has done in bringing their serial hybrid Chevy VOLT to mass market at a third of Fisker's cost. Granted Volt is no Tesla Roadster or even the slick Karma. But these numbers confirm that it is not easy to produce a quality E-Vehicle for under $40k right now.

      We still wish Fisker lots of luck - we can use as many EV-types as possible - if only to hasten the downward scaling process.

        • 4 Years Ago
        With that as backdrop, one wonders what GM would be able to do with a Cadillac EV at any of the Fisker Karma price points: $80k, $88k, $96k, or the latest $104k base.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Personally, the price hike has no impact: The number of $80K cars in my life is the same as the number of $95K+ cars. But a vibrant, diverse EV market will bring more competitors to the fray - and more options in lower price ranges.

      For that reason, I still want to see the Karma succeed, regardless of pricing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      10% isn't that much of a price increase.

      Disappointing, sure. A deal-breaker? Not likely at this level of customer - especially considering the Karma's PHEV uniqueness.
      • 4 Years Ago
      :-( This is such a sad biz. It is just an endless set of product delays and price hikes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I expect to see similar from Tesla on the model S. and be the straw that breaks the camel's back and sends Tesla tumbling down under the weight of the loans.
        on the other hands a high karma price helps Tesla a bit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As somebody with a deposit, this is the final straw. Delay, delay, delay does not inspire confidence. A 105 price tag for something that was 87.5 yesterday inspires less. If reliability or performance is less than expected, won't be unexpected. The competition once you hit 6 figures is very different. And 5.9 isn't fast in that market. I think ANY explanation for delays versus no communication would have been better. Telling people with a deposit news so we don't have to learn off of Google also goes a long way.

      It was an expensive car, but moved from expensive to not worth it. I hope this doesn't prove to be true. It would be a Christmas Miracle!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Last minute price changes isn't something new. Tesla did something similar at the last minute, except they didn't raise the price directly, but rather changed the standard wheels to cheaper ones and didn't include the faster charging cable. Most of the people with deposits still bought the car anyways.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Tesla did raise the base price directly, from $92K to $109K. Only those who had $50K deposits got the original price, but they're the ones who had to pay more for the accessories. (note that Fisker is throwing in an expensive option as standard, not taking a standard one out and charging more for it)

        "When the initial base price, for cars after the Signature 100 series, of $92k was approved by the board a few years ago, it was based on an estimated vehicle cost of roughly $65k provided by management at the time. This turned out to be wrong by a very large margin."

        "The plan as currently projected, and which I believe is now realistic, shows a high likelihood of reaching profitability on the Roadster business this summer. By that time, we will be delivering cars that have a base price of $109k plus about $20k or so of options (having worked our way through the $92k to $98k early buyers) at a rate of 30 per week."

        They couldn't retroactively raise the price on cars already sold - but they did increase their base price after they figured out they were losing their shirts and selling Roadsters at a loss.


        "Musk said that when Tesla first set the price on the Roadster at $92,000 – it had no idea that the actual production model would run close to $140,000. He said that Tesla expected each production model to cost about $65,000 per unit. While suppliers have helped Tesla cut some cost, each Tesla Roadster still costs “between $90,000 and $100,000 to build. Even after a price hike last year to $98,000 and then to $109,000, Tesla is still losing quite a bit of money on its electric-car."

        • 4 Years Ago
        No, that's not what Tesla did. They changed the base spec, raised the price and then if you said "aw, just give it to me with the new base spec" they said your car would be delayed until after everyone who accepted the new price had theirs delivered.

        Tesla screwed their customers to the wall.

        Basically, no matter how much you had put down and what price you were given, if you weren't willing to pay over $110K for the car, you weren't getting it soon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In this price range 8K will make no difference to buyers. The delays on the other hand could result in loss sales.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "If $8k doesn't matter, then Fisker should add another $8k yet again..."

        If you're serious, Fisker would certainly be happy to oblige. Custom interiors, upscale modifications - remember Fisker runs a carrosserie making already pricey MB's and BMW's even more expensive.

        Setting a base price is one thing, but we can only guess how high the prices can run when the options start getting piled on.

        • 4 Years Ago
        If $8k doesn't matter, then Fisker should add another $8k yet again..
      • 4 Years Ago
      They've jacked the price, now get ready for the car to underdeliver too.

      Making a new ICE car is hard. Making a new EV is hard. Making a new EREV is really really hard and I don't really think Fisker can deliver on their lofty promises. The car will be at least overweight or underfast/underefficient if not both.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wait... those hand prints are part of an actual marketing image and not an autoblog photoshop?

      I assume the earlier price increase to $87,900 came quickly after the federal tax rebate of $7500 was announced.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The odd thing is, the hand prints are on the back window. What could possibly be going on in the back seat of a streamed-up car?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Suppose that steam was poison gas, and the hand prints take on a whole new meaning...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exhilarating indeed...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hm.. wasn't this car supposed to start at 60-70k initially?

      Gee, another plug-in car that has skyrocketed in price. It really seems like a long-range electric would be cheaper, probably lighter, and less complex.

      Whatever, it's a luxury car. I'm not a good at determining the value of cars like this. But.. g'damn. At that point, a Tesla Roadster would suffice & the all electric factor would make it more appealing to me, at least. Same with an uplevel Model S.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Hm.. wasn't this car supposed to start at 60-70k initially?"


        $80K was the first price target when the prototype was first shown, and nobody took that number seriously. It quickly jumped to a more understandable $87K, where it's been for a few years.

        Given the economic recovery we've experienced, and a huge growth in interest for "green" cars, I'm not surprised that Fisker has gone up another notch just before production. Fisker has a sterling reputation among his current clientel, and with new markets opening up in Asia and the Middle East, there are certainly customers out there with the right amount of money.

        As I said above, "Disappointing, sure. A deal-breaker? Not likely..."

        To be completely blunt, most of the cars that are already spoken for with written orders are *not* the base version. Their owners were already going to spend a fair bit more than the supposed base price, so the increase is irrelevant to them.

        Also, the solar roof which was originally supposed to be a $5000 option is now standard.
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