Finally: Fisker Karma Is Go
Fisker plans to produce around 7,000 Karmas during its first year of production. The first Karmas should begin showing up at Fisker dealers in North America and Europe by next month. The new plug-in hybrid will give the Tesla Roadster a little bit of competion in the sporty, green market.
Roger Ormisher, a Fisker spokesman, said: "We're going to be ramping up very slowly, very carefully to ensure quality. This year we want to get over 7,000 deliveries."
Debuted more than three years ago at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the Fisker Karma pulls 402 horses from two electric motors. Those motors provide a range of up to 50 miles before a 2.0-liter turbo engine-generator kicks in to recharge the 20 kWh lithium-ion battery, extending the range to 300 miles. The Karma hits 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
It should be interesting to see how the Fisker fairs in the market. The Tesla Roadster is its closest competition. While that model offers a more modest, 245-mile range, it does it under zero-emissions, all-electric power. The Roadster also offers much quicker acceleration, hitting 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
After several price hikes, the Karma's after-tax-credit price of $88,400 is probably much closer to the Roadster's $101,500 price than Fisker would have liked. Moreover, Tesla is set to launch its $49,900 Model S, an electric sedan, next year, a model that would seem to be a Karma killer, based on its combination of lower price, zero emissions powertrain, optional 300-mile range and higher performance.
But Fisker doesn't have to worry about the Model S. For now.