2009 Fisker Karma: Production model to be unveiled in Detroit next month

  • “¢  GM”s 2.0L direct injection, turbocharged 4-cylinder gives it 260-hp.
  • “¢  2 powerful electric motors deliver a total of 408 hp.
  • “¢  0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds; top speed – 125 mph.
  • “¢  Electric only range – 50 miles; Total range – 300 miles.

Fisker announced today that its first production car, the Fisker Karma, will be unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show next month. Fisker says that the production Karma plug-in hybrid sedan keeps its “extreme proportions and beautiful sculpture” from the concept it showed last year in Detroit.

With its Q-Drive powetrain, the Fisker Karma will have an all-electric range of 50 miles after which the gasoline engine turns a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery pack. Basically it becomes a regular hybrid vehicle once 50 miles have been completed. Fisker estimates that most Karma drivers who charge their vehicle overnight and commute less than 50 miles a day will achieve a fuel-economy of 100 mpg.

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sedan will have three different operating modes including Stealth, Sport, and HEV.

In Stealth mode the Q-Drive continuously optimizes the system performance and efficiency. While in Stealth mode, you can achieve an electric range of greater than 50 miles but your top speed will be limited to 95 mph along with limitations on acceleration speed. Not bad considering you won’t be going 95 mph on many American highways.

Sport mode is for those that care little about fuel-economy and more about performance. In Sport mode, the Q-Drive relaxes and the driver can go from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds while sticking his hand out the window with offensive gestures at a top speed of 125 mph.

When in HEV mode, the Q-Drive control system operates like a normal hybrid system and shuts down during deceleration or a stop and charges the lithium-ion battery pack during the drive cycle. If the driver switches from HEV mode to Sport mode, the Q-Drive will push all the energy out to provide for high-performance. Sounds like that the Karma Hybrid is our type of plug-in hybrid.

What else? The Fisker Karma sedan also has the world’s largest continuous formed glass solar roof panel ever on a car. The solar energy system stores radiated power from the sun and uses it as electrical energy to increase the electric-range of the Karma. Like the Q-Drive it also has models – three modes to be exact. In Auto mode, the Karma will use solar power to focus on the systems efficiency. In Climate mode the energy management system will use solar power to provide dual-climate control for the passenger and driver. The last mode, the Charging mode, the Karma will store as much as energy possible from solar power for later use.

How much will all this performance and outstanding green technology cost you? $87,900 – and the first Fisker Karma Hybrid is scheduled to be delivered in November 2009. European pricing and availability details will be announced at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.