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New Fisker Karma will be pretty familiar

The car previously known as Fisker will get an updated dash display, though.

"It's all the same, only the names have changed," Jon Bon Jovi memorably sang, and it sure will apply to the next incarnation of the Fisker Karma. That's what the rumor mill says, anyway. A writer identified as JCMorrill on the Fisker forum Fisker Buzz says he (or she) has gotten some information by spending a "couple hours last week with the managers setting up the new factory." Anyone who liked the old Fisker Karma (perhaps not its creditors) will be pleased.

That's because there doesn't seem to be a ton of changes in store for the extended-range plug-in hybrid, which is now known as Karma (China-based parent Wanxiang has ditched the "Fisker" badge, which remains attached to the coachbuilding company run by Henrik Fisker). The 2.0-liter powertrain will be the same, as will that 33-mile all-electric range and 240-mile total range. The company's not going to mess much with the sedan's sleek looks, either, according to the Tuesday post on Fisker Buzz. The brakes will actually be downgraded a tad, and the dash displays will be updated. There will be some driver-assist features added, including some braking and cruise-control features. Given that the new car will sport a price tag estimated to be $135,000, there better be.

The Fisker Karma was last produced in 2012 before the company went bankrupt. Wanxiang acquired the company's assets in 2014. Rechristened Karma Automotive last year, the company has built a Southern California factory and could re-introduce the model as soon as some time later this year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fisker himself said earlier this year that he was teaming up with Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal to re-imagine the Karma as a high-performance sedan powered by the 6.2-liter V8 Corvette ZR1 engine. The collaboration, called VLF Automotive, showed off the latest version of their alternative Karma at the Detroit Auto Show and said at the time that the car would retail for a cool $229,000.

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