Got a Fisker Karma? Hack it for more driving options

Giving New Meaning To Plugging In

We've already touched upon the ability to hack into the software of the BMW i3 battery-electric vehicle in order to change some of the preset driving modes. One of the issues there, though, was the risk of voiding the car's warranty. If you were do something similar to a Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in, the warranty thing probably won't come into play since the company went broke and is now, slowly being reborn.

The hacking-inclined can access four new driving modes for the Karma, according to the Fisker community site Fisker Buzz. There's "EV mode" that simply depletes the battery regardless of how much fuel is in the range extender. "Sport mode" runs the battery at full power up until 60 percent state of charge (SOC). "Stealth mode" will hold any SOC and ER will increase the SOC to 90 percent full. If you'd like to watch blurry cell phone videos rather than read, there's an incredibly short YouTube clip above that apparently shows the driver accessing those additional drive modes. Poster PowerSource says that the new modes are turned on with a simple plug-in module:

The enhancement will not modify any of the existing OEM software in the vehicle. Our solution is plug and play hardware that adds functionality. To put the vehicle back to stock you simply unplug the module, to add the functionality you simply plug in the module. Fisker does not have the capability to overwrite our software since its on our physical module.

Fisker is in the process of rising from its bankrupt-induced ashes. The company went belly up in 2013, the year after it stopped making the last of its approximately 2,600 high-end Karmas. Last year, China-based Wanxiang bought out the company's assets for a tidy $149.2 million. And this year, the company is operating offices in Orange, County, CA, and is in the process of building a factory in Moreno Valley, CA, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Its new model will look a lot like the Karma but will be called the Elux. We're not sure how many drive modes it will have.

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