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On January 14, 2008, Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium sports car company unveiled its first production car, the Fisker Karma, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The first of its kind four-door plug-in hybrid premium sports sedan will have a starting price of $80,000.
Initial deliveries of the Karma will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 with annual production projected to reach 15,000 cars. The first 99 cars off the assembly line will be individually numbered and signed by Henrik Fisker and will be produced in the color and trim of the show car seen at NAIAS.
In Buddhism/Hinduism, Karma is defined as the force generated by a person's good or evil actions which determines the nature of the person's next existence. The Fisker Karma allows consumers to practice good Karma – driving a car that is environmentally friendly – without sacrificing the extreme comfort and style of the luxury automobile category.
"In creating Fisker Automotive, Inc. we sought to develop a range of beautiful, environmentally friendly cars that make environmental sense without compromise," said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. "Our hope is that the Fisker Karma will be the start of a new trend in the automotive business – less concession with more efficiency."
The car features cutting-edge plug-in hybrid technology, penned as Q DRIVE, developed by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive. The Karma's Q DRIVE configuration consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. This proprietary design allows consumers to drive the car emission free for up to 50 miles a day provided the car is charged every evening.
It's conceivable that if consumers follow this daily routine, they will only need to fuel the car but once a year. This Q DRIVE technology will provide a base for all future derivatives from Fisker Automotive.
"Our goal here is to deliver the advancement that Quantum Technologies has made in the area of plug-in hybrid technology. By combining our efforts with the renowned design talent of Henrik Fisker, we can produce cars that make a difference to the environment – without sacrificing the luxury that accompanies the finest automobiles,” stated Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.
Fisker Karma Design.
The sleek design of the Fisker Karma, which accentuates the long hood, is a direct result of the breakthrough all-new from the ground up chassis design with powertrain development. This unique design places the battery pack at the center of the vehicle between the two axles, providing optimal vehicle driving dynamics, maximum safety, and proportionate design. Both the interior and exterior of the car will be put to market as seen at the NAIAS.
Fisker Karma Interior.
The Karma's luxurious interior boasts four individual first class seats, a modern and sophisticated interior design and a spacious luggage capacity that can fit two golf bags and luggage in the trunk. Other interior optional features to include:
• Electronic Aides: Navigation system, DVD system incorporated into seat backs and state-of-the art push button controls.
• Seating Comfort: Four individual “first class” seats.
• Driving Modes: The driver will be able to select between two modes of driving. The first mode is "Stealth Drive", which is the quiet economy mode for optimal relaxed and efficient driving. By flipping the second paddle behind the steering wheel, the car will switch to "Sport Drive", which will access the full power of the vehicle.
Fisker Karma Exterior.
The all new from the ground up exterior design features a continual flow of sculpture and dramatic proportion. Similar in height to the Porsche 911, the length of the Mercedes Benz CLS, and the width of a BMW 7-series, the Fisker Karma's structure and body panels will make extensive use of aluminum to keep the overall vehicle weight as low as possible. Additionally, a new drive train configuration will provide optimal weight distribution. The vehicle's low and wide stance offers the driver a unique view of the fenders from the inside of the car.
The Fisker Karma will offer partly self-contained climate control, as consumers will have the option to purchase a full length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked. Additionally, Fisker Automotive will offer consumers an option to purchase a set of solar panels for their roofs or garages where they can generate electricity during the day to charge the car overnight... again cost and emission free.
Other exterior details to take note of include:
• Exterior Panels: Extensive use of lightweight materials used for optimal weight and driving dynamics.
• Solar Panel Roof: The Karma will offer self-contained climate control, as consumers will have the option to purchase a full length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked.
• Plug-In Configuration: Small bonnet “doors” for easy charging and engine fluids refill.
• 22-inch lightweight alloy wheels.
• LED tail-lamps.
• Driver visibility: Front fenders visible with a view of the long hood.
Fisker Karma Performance & Dynamics:
• 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds.
• Top speed beyond 125 mph.
• Torque: The karma will have maximum torque available from 0 mph with a dramatic acceleration to its top speed.
• Stance of car: The low center of gravity provides optimal sport vehicle driving dynamics.
• Innovation: The Karma will feature a newly developed lightweight body and structure.
• Braking: The Karma will feature regenerative brakes to recapture braking energy.
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