What is it? The term all-new is probably one of the most overused in the car business, but in the case of the Fisker Karma it truly applies. Not only is the Karma a new luxury GT from a new company, but it uses an innovative new petrol-electric powertrain.
Fisker Automotive – led by former Aston design chief Henrik Fisker – describes the Karma as an electric vehicle with extended range because it’s always driven by a pair of electric motors, but has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that acts as a generator when the batteries run low. Vauxhall’s Ampera, which goes on sale next April, uses a similar system.
The Karma can be charged from a conventional socket at night in around five and a half hours, and can then drive for up to 50 miles on battery power alone. For some journeys, this will be plenty, but if you need to go farther or have to make an unexpected trip when the batteries aren’t charged, the petrol engine comes into play, allowing you to cover an extra 250 miles before you need to stop for fuel.
The Karma gets around the range-anxiety problem that has traditionally plagued electric cars, then, and while it doesn’t offer zero emissions, it’s still very green, assuming the electricity that went into the batteries wasn’t generated by a coal-fired power station. Fisker reckons it averages over 100mpg and emits just 82g/km of CO2.
Fisker Karma gallery
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