Good Karma From Fisker
You have to search a little harder than with some makes to find Fisker’s stand in Geneva; it’s beyond the main car halls and slightly tucked away with the tires, accessories and specialist equipment. But once you find it, the Fisker Karma is as impressive as anything you’ll come across anywhere in the show.
And that’s not just because of its terrifically clean and balanced looks and subtly understated detail (penned by respected designer Henrik Fisker), but because of its unique promise to be a sporting car with a massive difference. As Fisker say, “a force for positive change in the cars we drive.”
So what’s unusual about the Karma? Well, Fisker refers to its philosophy as “Eco-chic,” and while the Karma looks on the outside for all the world like a prestige four-door Grand Tourer in the Maserati Quattroporte mold, under the skin it could hardly be more different, more intriguing — or more ecologically well-intentioned.
It claims to be the first of its kind, and almost certainly is: a luxurious sports sedan with plug-in hybrid power technology. And depending on how you use it, the possibility of being a genuine zero-emissions car.
Because on one overnight charge from an ordinary, domestic 110 or 220-volt electrical socket, it is capable of a 50-mile range purely on battery power, burning no other fuel and therefore producing no harmful emissions at point of use. Capable of decent performance, too, the Karma has a maximum speed of 125 mph (200kph) and goes 0-62 mph (0-100kph) in just 6.0 seconds.
Then if you want to go further afield, the Karma has a small, clean-burning, fuel-efficient gasoline engine that doesn’t power the wheels directly but recharges the lithium-ion battery pack which supplies the power to the electric motor driving the rear wheels.
This sophisticated Q-DRIVE plug-in hybrid system that was developed for Fisker Automotive by Quantum Technologies operates completely seamlessly with no need for decisions or dial-watching from the driver.
The Karma sits on dramatic 22-inch wheels and a long, comfort-inducing wheelbase, with the battery pack in the center of the car for optimum weight distribution and handling balance.
There’s room inside for four adults, and to take the Eco-chic philosophy to the limit, there’s even the option of a full-length solar-panel roof, so as long as the sun is shining, you don’t even have to plug in to recharge, and it also powers the cabin cooling while the car is parked. Or if you prefer, Fisker can also offer solar panels for home installation — all, as they say, offering “the power to choose, the power to change the world."