Fisker Premiers Its Latest Gem - The Karma S

No surprise here: Henrik Fisker’s legacy won’t be in his efforts to save the planet but in the beauty of his vehicle design aesthetic.
fisker karma s

by Ross Bonander

Specs:

  • Type: Plug-in series hybrid (Extended Range Electric Vehicle)
  • Class: 2-door convertible
  • Manufacturer: Fisker Automotive
  • Propulsion system: Two electric motors (403 hp total); GM-sourced, 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • Top Speed: 125 mph
  • Zero-to-60: 5.8 seconds
  • Vehicle range: 300 miles
  • All-electric range: 50 miles
  • Fuel(s): Electricity, gasoline
  • Battery system: Lithium-ion
  • Tailpipe emissions: Yes, in extended-range mode
  • Price: NA - expect it to match the luxury sedan’s $87,000 price tag, and then some.
  • Availability: 2011

The manufacturer says

“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain. The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future.“

Read Fisker’s press release here.

The Critics Say

“While the swooping styling looks terrific on the sedan, the hardtop’s execution is even more attractive; hints of Maserati GranTurismo, Ferrari California, and Mercedes-Benz SL mix with multiple original touches for a stunning coupe silhouette.” CarandDriver.com

Overview

Green vehicle innovator Fisker Automotive premiered its latest gem at the North American International Auto Show in January 2009, the Fisker Karma S (or “Sunset”) concept, a vehicle that shares frame, powertrain, and almost everything else with the company’s flagship sedan.

What we like

The design. No surprise here. Henrik Fisker’s legacy won’t be in his efforts to save the planet but in the beauty of his vehicle design aesthetic. The hard-top. Vanilla Ice preferred a rag-top for his 5.0, but Fisker went with a power retractable hard top, one that seamlessly hides itself in the trunk.

What we don’t

The extended range mileage. 300 miles? Fisker used to brag about the Karma sedan’s extended range mileage, which some media outlets (including us) reported as in excess of 600. It wouldn’t be the first time a car maker made exaggerated claims … and in fact the company’s latest specs on the sedan have reduced that range to 300.

The (presumptive) price. We’re holding our breath on this, hoping she doesn’t crack six figures.

Conclusions

What exactly does the Karma S concept contribute to the world at-large? Not a whole lot, except she makes for a stunning companion to the sedan. Fisker calls it an “extension” of the company’s ‘product range’, and frankly that puts it pretty well.

Not to say she’s an unsightly car; in fact she’s magnificent. And her green side is attractive enough. But it’s reasonable to believe that the S concept is contingent upon the success of the sedan, and at $87,000, no, Fisker doesn’t need to move as many units as he would a cheaper car, but in a tight economy, it might be a bitch to move beautiful, sporty, and expensive vehicles, especially when their green technology has no hope of ever saving the consumer more than a penny at the pump.

Still, we dig their moxy over at Fisker and we have more faith in Henrik as an auto CEO than his colleagues at two of the Big Three.

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