2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
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  • 2012 Fisker Karma
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  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front view

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma top view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma side driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma fron 3/4 driving view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma wheel in motion

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma wheel

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma wheel detail

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma logo

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma
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  • 2012 Fisker Karma taillight

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma interior

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma steering wheel

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear seats

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  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear center console

The 2012 Fisker Karma is officially rated by the EPA at 52 MPGe and 20 miles per gallon when its battery runs out of juice. In addition, the plug-in boasts 32 miles of electric-only range. Though these numbers can feel disappointing, there's a reason for the Karma's less than stellar EPA numbers. 5,300 reasons, to be exact.

When the Karma pulls onto the scales, the readout of 5,300 pounds is, well, accurate. In fact, the Karma makes the porky 3,755-pound Chevrolet Volt (as weighed by Car And Driver) seem like a true lightweight.

It doesn't matter whether it's the battery or the fuel tank that's providing the power, weight always reduces efficiency. In the end, at $95,900, the Karma is priced in a league all its own, and we doubt that many buyers will think twice about how much more efficient the Karma could have been. This thing's got other reasons for existing, like trying to make "green" stylish.

[This post has been changed since publication.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 101 Comments
      Rotation
      • 6 Months Ago
      The Volt can drive solely on battery too, but without the series drivetrain losses.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      What the hell!? Who cares about all this anorak rubbish? Since virtually none of those earnestly debate about the shortcomings of the Fisker-Karma are ever likely to walk into a showroom and plunk down $100,000 to drive away in a new Karma, why should Fisker care? The Fisker-Karma is a highly specialised vehicle appealing to a narrow market of affluent car buyers who don't care all about the ideological shortcomings or technical details of the car. Buyers will love the styling, image, cache, electric capacity, excitement and exclusivity of the car. For what it is, the Fisker-Karma is a remarkably well priced car. A car model, has one primary duty, to sell profitably! Not to fulfil some ideological purpose of anorak obsessed critics, but to sell cars to its target market! The Karma will sell! Fisker doesn't care about the ideological motives of those buying the car, nor should he, as long as they purchase his product. Indignant critics, (who can't afford to walk in the showroom) just adds to the Karma buyer's sense of exclusivity and delight. The Karma is a Grand Tourer, sports car, that employs some EV technology. It's not a Leaf, or even a Volt, it's what it is, a Fisker-Karma. Get over it!
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Buyers may like the exclusivity but that's about it. It's expensive to buy, expensive to run, not green and it's really loud when the range extender kicks in. It has almost nothing going for it. You might as well get a 7 series instead. It is not remarkably well-priced by any measure.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          @Rotation Gotcha, you dont like the karma.? Well here's some good news, you don't have to buy one! In the meantime leave those who can, in peace to enjoy themselves and there Karma..
        Spiffster
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Thats funny, Fisker was talking up the green creds of the Karma all the way up until the EPA certified it. Fact is that real world tests show a completely different car than what was claimed. They certainly SHOULD care about how this effects their image / credibility. The Nina is based on the Fisker Karma, SO any US taxpayer (obviously you're not included) should care about what direction Fisker is taking the company. Nobody wants another Solyndra! Besides this is ABG dude, probably a good indication of why folks here have a negative opinion of what was claimed to be a green car. And those same "critics who cant afford to walk into the showroom" you mentioned, are the same target demographic that Fisker SHOULD care about when the Nina reaches production. Many of those critics are also the same tax payers footing the bill for that 7500 dollar tax break for this gas/watt guzzling monstrosity. Until Fisker can sell a car without tax payer's help, we all have a vested interest in what this company produces. So far, that's just polished turds.
          EmpulseBuyer
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spiffster
          MP, if you want to get technical, the Fisker Nina is already built and under wraps "for competitive reasons"... its also based on the Karma platform and uses Fisker's now infamous "EVer" technology... I am not pre-complaining about Nina, I just have my doubts about it... hell, if its worlds better than the Karma, I may even consider buying one... BUT for the (obvious) reasons mentioned, I doubt it will be. Im waiting for Fisker to prove me wrong... and for our venture capitalist / winner picking government's sake, I hope they do.
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spiffster
          The US placed the bet on Fisker so I agree with Marco. Let's hoope he manages to pull it off or the Republicans will see to it that no other "green" company will get a dime. Meanwhile, Republican pet companies will continue to get funding because they're the frugal party. I hope my sarcasm came through on that. And honestly I'm not all that anti-Republican, I just don't like the hypocrisy in attacking Fisker and Tesla, when GM, Ford, and Nissan got most of the money. GM created the Volt, Nissan created the Leaf, and Ford hasn't made a thing, yet.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spiffster
          Oh, I see, you're complaining about the Nina, a car not even built yet! Sort of pre-complaining? Well, these are government loans, not grants, so Fisker has to pay them back? Until Fisker fails why should you worry? If you don't like the present admistrations economic incentive program, join the guy's at the mad hatters tea party, and ensure a Republican victory. If not, better hope that Henrick Fisker sell sufficient cars to pay back the loans!
        EVnerdGene
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        You're right Marco. I will never walk into a Frisker dealer and plunk-down $100k. If our stupid f*cking government hadn't gotten involved, I would not give a sh*t about this albatross (on many levels) Frisker could have done it without government funds, and government should not have gotten involved. Since the loan is taxpayer money, financed with chinese debt; I'm mad as h*ll about it. Stop the nonsense. I feel that the more I b*tch about it, the less likely it is to happen again. This is not the only place I'm complaining.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @Gene I hear you! You make a valid point. As I understand you, you are not complaining specifically at the Fisker Karma, but the concept of the government acting as a venture capital bank? I'm not going to debate the merits of a governments right to act as an incentive banker, to correct market or economic reversals. Both sides of that debate have merits and demerits. But, surely the target for your anger should be the administration, not the Fisker Karma?
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Where is it fair for GM, Nissan, and Ford to take the bulk of the government loans and we're not attacking them left and right? Ford hasn't even put out a single EV for anyone to buy. And Ford got 5.9 Billion without a single vehicle for a customer. No one is screaming about that. Tesla and Fisker took a measly 500 million each and we're all ready to string them up for being startup companies. Let's give them a chance - and then if they don't meet our stringent expectations lets string them up.
          EVnerdGene
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @Marco You are right. I should not take it out on Henrik Fisker personally. Hey, I guess if I could find the line, or afford to stand in the line, where the government is giving grants and loans, I'd want to get in on the welfare roles also. Yes welfare. Take the money - makes you stupid, lazy, and wasteful. Addictive. (btw: a while back I challenged EV nerds to name a product that the gov'ment subsidized - a start-up - that was successful. Still waiting.) As I've said twenty times before; if you have a good product, plan, and people; you can raise all the money you need in private markets. - - - OK now, attacking the DOE: There was no compelling reason for loans to Frisker or Tesla. No technological breakthrough, innovation, ecological advantage, nor even a performance advantage- - - that could not have been accomplished without government money. Read again before ranting. BTW - why do I pick on Frisker so much and not Tesla ? In the jury is still out on Tesla being able to repay their loans. Frisker = money down the toilet - my humble opiniion that I'm entitled to as much as someone saying that the Karma is the most wonderful car ever built . Nina - don't get me started. But I fail to see how anyone could be excited about something they know nothing about.
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      The extra weight is only partially to blame for the inefficiency of the Karma. The Karma weighs roughly 40% more than the Volt but the Karma uses 85% more fuel per mile in CS mode and 81% more kWh per mile in EV mode compared to the Volt.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Well getting a drive train from a company having a market cap in the tens of millions (~$35M) may be an issue. I'm sure GM spent much more than that developing their drive train.
          Smith Jim
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          I am just sitting here laughing to myself because of all the people who were commenting that a series hybrid configuration is more efficient than a parallel hybrid before this latest news about the Karma. Now that we know the Karma is less than ideal people blame the weight and say nothing about the inefficiency of a series hybrid.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Woah, I have been on a roll lately for being very wrong in my facts. I apologize, I misread a previous post and thought that the karma drive train was from GM. I should have verified before posting.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Smith Jim, If the drive train is sourced by GM, how do we know if the Karma doesn't have the infamous "engine physically connected to the wheels" at highway speeds like the Chevy Volt? True, at lower speeds, it is an inefficient serial hybrid in CS mode. But cruising on the highway, it is a parallel hybrid.
          Smith Jim
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Joeviocoe, http://green.autoblog.com/2011/07/26/fisker-karma-absolutely-no-mechanical-connection-engine-wheels/
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          "If the drive train is sourced by GM, how do we know if the Karma doesn't have the infamous "engine physically connected to the wheels" at highway speeds like the Chevy Volt?" Well, for one, GM doesn't supply the drive train, Joeviocoe.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          ... and two, please point out where you think the mechanical connection between the ICE and the rear wheels might be. The Volt has an easy package, because the ICE is right up there in front with the driven wheels. The Karma, however, has the driven wheels in the back, and no way to connect them to the front mechanically. http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2012-Fisker-Karma-technical-cutaway.jpg
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      just a sad, bad, joke
        motorhead
        • 6 Months Ago
        @diffrunt
        At taxpayer expense. There should be a Congressional investigation of this nonsense, the Biden connection, visits to the Whitehouse, and the ineptness of the DOE.
      lasertekk
      • 3 Years Ago
      OMG. 5300 lbs? Is this thing safe? Can it even come to a complete stop without passing three ZIP codes?
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this car some kind of sick, cruel joke?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 6 Months Ago
      http://www.topgear.com/uk/photos/fisker-karma-2011-02-24?imageNo=6
      shinichi
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear ABG! You forgot to mention that the Porsche Panamera S Hybrids estimate MPG is 25. The Karma is twice as efficient. The article is very misleading, there is no "when-the-batteries-run-out" mpg. Just an EPA test cycle.This car completed it, prudcing 52,5 MPG(e). Henrik Fisker crated a car that would pass 2025 CAFE standards. Disappointing indeed.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @shinichi
        Actually ABG is right that there are two numbers (even though phrased incorrectly as "when its battery runs out of juice"). The EPA gives two numbers for PHEVs. The Fisker Karma gets 52MPGe for "all electric" (before generator kicks in), and 20mpg for "gas only"(after the generator kicks in). The battery is never "out of juice" in either case, but in the latter case it has run down sufficiently for the generator to start working. The latter case gives the mpg you would get if you never charged the battery on the grid. Fisker left the 20mpg number out of its press release, but that has been confirmed as its "gas only" EPA rating. The Volt gets 93MPGe for "all electric" and 37mpg for "gas only". http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblog.com/media/2010/11/volt-mpg-epa-label.jpg The Karma isn't twice as efficient as the Panamera S Hybrid. The 52MPGe number only applies if the Karma is driven in all electric mode and that only gives the "plug-to-wheel" efficiency. If you mix in the 20mpg number, it will be something in between. If what you care about is emissions (charging on the average US grid), I worked out 52MPGe means the same emissions as a 27mpg gas car, so the Fisker isn't going to be much greener than a Panamera S Hybrid even running all electric (It'll be worse if you run it too much in "gas only" mode).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          The emissions of the Karma is 188 g/mile, 117.5 g/km. The Panamera Hybrid emits 159 g/km. The Karma will have lower emissions overall than a Porsche Panamera.
      SprinterMatt
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's the new Lagonda.
      Gubbins
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it me or is Fisker destined for a major marketing trainwreck...along with millions in taxpayer dollars? I can't even imagine Ed Begley Jr. buying one of these 5300-lb sleds.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gubbins
        This car was designed from day one as a very high-priced big luxury vehicle. Like with Tesla, the real test comes with their next vehicle. The Tesla Model S and Fisker Nina need to break out of the tiny very-high end market and at least do decent in the luxury market. I think they both have quite a challenge ahead of them. It is possible to do but it certainly won't be easy. I think they will both need gas prices to go up to have a decent chance but that may happen.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          However, with Tesla, the Roadster did do a few things very well... 240+ miles EV range and Porsche/Ferrari killing acceleration. This Karma is a very attractive hybrid. But it doesn't do anything exceptional. Certainly not worth the price. Some will buy this car, but all in all. It won't sell very well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love this car! Can't wait to see more of mr Fisker's designs!
        Dave
        • 6 Months Ago
        You've probably seen quite a few already: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/07/henrik-fisker-design-gallery/
        paulwesterberg
        • 6 Months Ago
        Too bad mr Fisker doesn't have an engineering degree to go with his design experience.
      Noz
      • 3 Years Ago
      You don't need to make a 5200lbs turd to make "green stylish." This car is a waste of effort....nothing more.
        EZEE
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Noz
        ? On the down vote. Although the description is a bit earthy, a 'green' car that gets 20mpg? I v8 corvette gets around 30 on the highway, as does the 300hp v6 mustang. if one comes to the conclusion that the car is not green, then honestly what does it have going for it. Earthy description or not, Noz is correct. I can't think of many greens that would buy it, and if I (evil right winger) had 100,000 dollars to spend on a performance car, this would not be it.
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