Months Before Launch and Still Scant Few Details on Fisker Karma

· · 4 years ago

Automotive blogging powerhouse, Jim Motavalli, recently had a chance to try and part the curtains over at Fisker Automotive's LA headquarters. But after his visit one thing is clear, no journalist will be allowed to drive the car, or know its vital stats until just before the car launches—which currently stands at early next year.

Fisker has obtained more than half a billion dollars in government-backed loans, hundreds of millions more in private investment, and it now owns a former GM assembly plant in Delaware. We've all seen the pre-production concept models trotted around to the various auto shows. We know the Karma will be priced at $87,900 and will qualify for the $7,500 federal tax rebate. But we know little else. All of us in the alternative vehicle blogging world have been left faced with the mystery that is Fisker.

The company has now pushed the production date for the Karma back a couple of times and, at this point has only loosely committed to a timeframe of early next year for the start of production. In the past Henrik Fisker, the company's founder, has said that they will build and sell about 15,000 Karmas in 2011 and that the cars will be profitable at that level. In Motavalli's interview with Russell Datz, Fisker's main spokesperson, those numbers were again confirmed, but Datz refused to make anything more clear.

When Motavalli asked Datz to tell him something they hadn't told anybody else, all Datz could do was confirm to Motavalli that his job was to keep the press at bay until the launch of the car, saying that the company had one shot to make a good first impression and wouldn't provide test cars until they had it right.

But that still leaves the rest of us wondering what, exactly, Fisker will be selling when it finally releases the Karma... and if it will actually figure out all the problems associated with engineering the complexity that is a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Comments

· · 4 years ago

The lack of information is troubling. It is one sexy car though so I hope they do make it.

· · 4 years ago

Tom, I wholeheartedly agree. I've sat in the show cars and they just feel good... much better than the tiny Tesla Roadster, IMHO.

· · 4 years ago

Nick, to be fair you should be comparing it to a Model S Tesla though. I really hope they both succeed but we all know how incredibly difficult it is to start a new automobile company in the US. When was the last time one made it?

· · 4 years ago

Tom, you may be right about the comparison... but then again the Model S is going to be about $40K after rebate, and the Karma will be twice as expensive. So maybe it's not a fair comparison b/c the Roadster really was an alpha and the Karma is clearly more than that. But Fisker also has Project Nina, an answer to the Model S, and it will also be $40K after rebate. So where does the Karma fit in then in comparisons? It's not quite a Roadster in terms of price—and the Roadster will indeed be on its last legs during next year when the Karma will be just hitting the market for $20K less than the Roadster originally retailed for. Thinking more about it, the Karma really won't have any competition in that realm when it hits the market.

· · 4 years ago

Nick, the base Model S will list for over $57,400 so even after the rebate it will be $50K. That's with the 160 mile range battery. Lets say you want the 300 mile battery which would give you about the same range of a Fisker that will add $25,000 to $30,000(the generally accepted upcharge but not confirmed) now you are at $75 to $80K after rebate which is right where Fisker is at. I know it's not a perfect comparison, but they are both full size sedans with trunks and room for 5(or 7). I do get the use of "alpha car" for the respective companies and how they both plan on lowering the price of each successive car they offer, like I said there is no perfect comparison. However I think perspective Fisker buyers would look at a Model S as an alternative vehicle to buy more than they would a Roadster.

· · 4 years ago

I can see that. Right about the $50K S, I have so many numbers floating around in my head these days that I can never remember exactly when I pull them out of the air. I should always double check... but then again, that's what the comments are for!

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· · 1 year ago

So now its 2 years later, and due to the many problems the overpriced Karma has, and having test driven different Karma models twice, its discouraging that the car is temporarily out of production and underwhelming in several aspects.

Hopefully the upcoming Atlantic will be better.

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