Karma Automotive: Get Served what you deserve!

Do you believe in karma? Well, sometimes karma might take plenty of time to show its action. But, here’s a karma that is pretty fast and too damn furious on roads.

A familiar name in the name of automobiles, Karma Automotive (previously known as Fisker) a califonia-based world class automobile manufacturer was launched in order to provide a path to a more sustainable future with its world-class luxury.

The name “Karma” was chosen because it was relevant to both the old and new brands while providing quite an inspirational message that embodies the manufacturer’s purpose. The company is based on the principle of cause and effect. This implies that a particular action creates your future.

The year was 2008 when the masses were pretty conscious about environmental friendliness. However, the electric cars back then were considered lame and did not ring a bell to buyers. In fact, even for people who belong to the elite category; such as Leonardo Dicaprio, the apex of going green was a Toyota Prius.

This is where Henrik Fisker planned on bringing in something different. This Danish designer made his name with some of the most amazing machines like BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and more. In 2007, the company was formed and bringing out luxury and style in the electric segment made it one of the most premium selling cars.

The company snagged some VC cash and then after various efforts, the company named Fisker Automotive was formed in Irvine, California. A year later, Karma automotive was formed. Just like the Volt from Chevy, the vehicle had a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that was powered by electricity until the battery went flat. Later it used a gas engine as a generator so users would never be stranded.

However, unlike the Volt, this vehicle was freaking awesome and had curves that made it look like it was formed from a single piece of gentle melted metal and could pull 0 to 60 in just 5.9 seconds. That was FAST!!

 

Later, the automobile industry in America crumbled and Fisker had offered a new way. Forbes had put the same on the cover under the headline “The Next Detroit.”

Soon after, the US Department of Energy had promised $ 528.7 million and Fisker pledged to start production within 18 months. While he would begin with the luxury market, he wanted to build economical electric cars for the massed within the succeeding years.

Bankruptcy:

2013 was a terrible year for Fisker Automotive. Chinese auto parts giant named Wanxiang Group bought the company’s assets and everything else that remained of the unit at $ 150 million. Today, Wnaxiang is funding a comeback story and its Karma’s Revero.

Currently, the new Karma automotive team based in Moreno Valley California has spent the past 27 months eliminating the car’s many flaws and updating it with 5 years of technical advances.

Revero:

Karma Revero brought out the Revero that reminds us of its predecessors. The exteriors of the car are pretty much similar. This is however, an overly complicated electric with unorthodox looking gear setup. It has glass inserts in the dash and the doors look slightly futuristic.

The rear seats seem pretty cramped and its big batteries leave little trunk space. It does have solar roof that has been updated to give it a great appearance and comes in handy. During real sunny conditions, the car produces 200 watts of electricity per hour and this is enough to power 1.5 miles of emissions-free driving per day.

Unlike its predecessor, however, the Revero works. Crucially, Karma updated the drivetrain. Twin electric motors drive the rear wheels, powered by a 23-kilowatt-hour battery. General Motors makes the two-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that works as a generator when power runs low. (GM’s not making the engine anymore, so once Karma runs through its stock, it’ll need a new solution.) For now, the Revero will go 50 miles on electricity and deliver 20 miles per gallon when the engine’s running. That’s a bit short of the 2016 Chevy Volt’s 53 all-electric miles and 42 mpg, but Karma’s car thrashes the Detroiter on looks and style.

Bottom line:

Karma made it to time’s 50 best inventions, automobile design of the year and top gear’s luxury car of the year. This definitely had to attract attention and within no time, Al gore put his order in early. Usher had given one to Justin Bieber who in turn wrapped it in chrome. In 2011, Dicaprio took delivery of his karma. It wasn’t a walk in the park for Fisker all this way.

The company outsourced everything, low-headcount and faced engineering problems. It also had poor reliability issues, missing deadlines and delayed loan payments. This steadily improved and the company announced the price of the car to $ 80,000. The production models are sure to fetch more than 6 figures.

Fisker Automotive: The Karma Hybrid and VLF Force 1 V10

Fisker Automotive was an American hybrid car manufacturer from California. The California based car maker introduced the Karma and was pivotal in creating the industry’s premium hybrid car segment. Despite the Karma receiving positive reviews, the company was unable to generate enough profit to stay afloat and CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker resigned from the company.

Soon after Fisker filed for bankruptcy as well. Prior to its acquisition by Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang Group, Fisker focused on developing premium hybrids that made clever use of unique materials such as wildfire hardwood and premium animal free leather. We take a look at what Fisker aimed to be as a car maker before and after its acquisition by Chinese auto part conglomerate Wanxiang.

 

Fisker Karma

Design

Henrik Fisker was originally a designer and played a pivotal role in the designs of iconic cars such as the Aston Martin Vantage V8, the DB9 and the BMW Z8. As a result, the Fisker Karma has been endowed with a beautifully sculpted shell. The front end’s notable characteristics include a chrome accentuated large split grille, solar panelled roof and a chiseled bonnet. The roof slopes gently into the rear end that features all LED taillights and an auxiliary brake light mounted in the middle of the trunk.

Front thee quarters of the Karma hybrid
Front thee quarters of the Karma hybrid

Interior

Passengers are greeted by a tastefully designed cabin replete with leather, aluminium and wood work. The center console features a large touchscreen infotainment system that controls most of the Fisker Karma’s features such as the air conditioning, safety mechanisms and entertainment system. Drivers are treated to a premium leather wrapped three spoke steering wheel that features aluminium accents and a fully digitized instrument cluster. The combination of various shades of hazel leather, wood and minimal use of aluminium creates an pervading tone of luxury with sporty undertones. In keeping with the theme of reduce, reuse and recycle, the Fisker hybrid features an interesting mix of components that include rescued California wildfire hardwood, fossilized leaves and recycled metal.

Interiors of the Fisker Karma
Interiors of the Fisker Karma

Under the Bonnet

Although the Fisker Karma does house a petrol powered engine, it merely serves to power the electric motor that actually drives the car. The permanent synchronous motor sends 235 hp to the rear wheels via a 1 speed direct drive gearbox. However, the Fisker Karma’s electric motor can work in tandem with the inline turbocharged 4 cylinder petrol engine to bump up the horse power numbers to an impressive 402 hp and 959 lb-ft of peak torque.

The Fisker Karma employed a hybrid drivetrain
The Fisker Karma employed a hybrid drivetrain

Fisker VLF Force 1 V10

Design

With a change in time comes a change in priorities. Although Fisker originally started out as an hybrid manufacturer that focused on building earth friendly products, the all new Force 1 V10 is a far cry from what Fisker Automotive originally sought to achieve. Developed in conjunction with VLF, an American luxury car maker, the Force 1 V10’s design is based off the Dodge Viper. As such, the Force 1 V10 sports a long bonnet, numerous air scoops, exaggerated wheel arches, a massive front air dam and heavily sculpted bodywork. The dramatic persona of the Force 1 V10 is further enhanced by its large 21 inch wheels, concave front end and muscle car like proportions.

Front three quarters of the Fisker VLF Force 1 V10
Front three quarters of the Fisker VLF Force 1 V10

Interior

Fisker has endowed the Force 1 V10 with a beautifully crafted cabin. With ultra luxury components such as bespoke quilted Alcantarra seats, suede and champagne bottle holders, the interior is stark contrast to the track focused outer shell of the Fisker VLF Force 1 V10. The large center console that runs along the length of the cabin plays host to a large touchscreen infotainment system and controls for various aspects of the car such as the climate control mechanism, alternate driving modes and others. The driver is greeted by a leather wrapped three spoke steering wheel that sports gloss black accents.

Interiors of Fisker's latest creation
Interiors of Fisker’s latest creation

Under the Bonnet

Powering the Fisker VLF Force 1 V10 is a massive 8.4 l V10 engine borrowed from the Dodge Viper. While the stonking V10 produces a mere 645 hp, the folks over at VLF have managed to churn out a whopping 745 horsepower and a peak torque of 638 lb-ft.  The massive V10 is mated to an six-speed manual and an optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Fisker VLF claim its latest creation manages to hit the 100 km/h mark in under 4 seconds with a top speed of an unimaginable 350.83 km/h.

The V10 is derived from the Dodge Viper
The V10 is derived from the Dodge Viper

Although Fisker started out as a manufacturer seeking to re-imagine hybrids as suave vehicles of comfort and opulence, the car maker was marred by legal hassles, budgetary constraints and overall poor inital reception of its maiden product. As a result, the once promising hybrid manufacturer has ditched its eco-friendly efforts and moved on to developing products in a segment that is populated by prospective customers looking to indulge and shows no signs of slowing down.