Plug-in Hybrid Karma S will do 50 miles on a charge and make 408hp
After unveiling the luxury plug-in hybrid Karma Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last year, Fisker is set to show another concept as well as the production version of the Karma.
The production Karma S, has been developed with Quantum Technologies and boasts a plug-in Hybrid system that allows drivers to drive 50 miles on a single charge. Once the battery power runs out, the gasoline engine will kick in and the car will operate like a conventional hybrid.
Because of this innovative system, Fisker says that owners who drive less than 50 miles per day will achieve a yearly average fuel economy of 100 mpg.
The Karma will be powered by a GM-sourced 2.4-liter Ecotec engine that has been updated with direct injection technology. The engine alone makes 260hp and when combined with the two electric motors will make 408hp. Fisker claims this is enough for a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed is rated at a respectable 125 mph.
The stunning looking (both inside and out) Karma S will be priced at $87,900. The first deliveries are scheduled for November 2009 and apparently models are sold out until mid-2010.
Impressively, Fisker has arranged for the Karma S to be produced at the Valmet Automotive plant, a state-of-the-art facility where the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are manufactured.
Fisker Karma S:
Official release after the break:
Fisker Automotive’s First Production Vehicle, the Fisker
Karma, to be Showcased at the North American International
Auto Show (NAIAS)
IRVINE, CA. Dec. 2, 2008: Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American
premium sports car company, today announced that its first production car,
the Fisker Karma, will be showcased at the North American International
Auto Show (NAIAS). With only minor design enhancements made to the
exterior of the vehicle, the production Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid retains the
extreme proportions and beautiful sculpture of the January 2008 Karma show
“We are very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS,” said
Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker. “In the year since we debuted the
Karma, the reception we’ve received has been tremendous. I’m proud to
announce at this time that we are already sold out on the car until mid-2010.”
With a base price of $87,900 (USD), the Fisker Karma is scheduled to begin
delivery in November, 2009. Featuring the proprietary Q-Drive powertrain,
the Fisker Karma will have an all-electric range of 50 miles (80km). After the
all electric 50 miles, the gasoline engine turns a generator to charge the
lithium ion battery. Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the
Fisker Karma can be used as a normal hybrid vehicle. With this balance of
electric and gas range, Fisker Automotive estimates that most Karma drivers
who charge the Karma overnight and commute less than 50 miles per day will
be able to achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4L/100km) per
The production model to be featured at the 2009 NAIAS will include an upper
grill that is graphically enhanced, being slightly larger towards the outer
corners. The lower air intake has been enlarged to allow for more airflow and
underneath the rear bumper, an aerodynamic diffuser includes the integration
of a cooling cover for the electric drivetrain.
To optimize cooling and aerodynamics, the exhaust pipe from the ICE engine
is routed directly out behind the front wheels. A small functional side vent
will release the hot air when the ICE engine is turned on. The Fisker Karma
also features a complete flush B-pillar. The B-pillar is a safety feature and
already fulfills the proposed 2012 rollover protection safety regulations.
Underneath the Karma is an all aluminum spaceframe made in cooperation
with Norsk Hydro. The exterior body is a combination of aluminum panels
and composite panels.
The Karma has a unique sustainable interior strategy. The design of the
interior cabin is a luxurious tailored space for four adults. The interior will be
unveiled for the first time in its final form at the 2009 NAIAS.
The vehicle’s ride and handling is decisively sporty and includes very
responsive steering. The Karma’s long wheel base, wide track and low center
of gravity provide excellent cornering and stability at highway speeds.
The innovative powertrain, Q-drive, utilizes a large, powerful lithium ion
battery and a powerful 2-liter direct injected turbo-charged 4-cylinder gasoline
engine developing 260 hp, which enables the Karma to achieve a continuous
top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 of 5.8 seconds. The large powerful lithium
ion battery provides 22.6 kWh, which has unique control software. The two
powerful electric motors deliver a combined 408 hp.
Additional features of the Karma include:
Karma Powertrain “Q Drive”
Powertrain Overview Description
The Karma powertrain is a high performance, high efficiency, plug-in hybrid
electric system comprised of three electric machines, three inverters, a turbo-
charged 2.0 L high-feature DI gasoline engine and an advanced Lithium-ion
technology battery pack. This hardware combination coupled with the
innovative Q-Drive control system provides for a unique driving experience
where energy, power, feel, and fuel economy are optimized to satisfy driver
Energy Storage System
The energy storage system incorporates an advanced lithium-ion chemistry
battery pack with integrated control and safety systems that ensure safe and
powerful operation throughout the operating life. The system has a maximum
storage capacity of 22.6 kW-hrs and is capable of delivering a peak electric
power of 200 kW (500 Amps at 400 Volts) throughout the charge depleting
range of operation. The Advanced Lithium Power battery pack has been
designed for the rigorous requirements of the automotive environment, and is
a full “plug and play unit” utilizing all advanced vehicle communications
software. The battery pack uses inherently safe cell chemistry and has been
designed with multiple levels of software and hardware features to ensure
optimal performance while providing the highest levels of safety features.
Powertrain Electric Traction
The power dense dual motor traction drive is capable of delivering a peak
output mechanical power of 300 kW (408 hp) and a peak torque of 1300 Nm
(959 Ft-lb) to the input of the differential. In Sport mode this provides for a
high performance luxury sport sedan acceleration time of 0 to 60 mph (0-100
km/h) in less than 6 seconds. The sustained (electronic limited) top speed is
125 mph (200 km/h).
Karma Powertrain Operating Modes
Stealth is the default mode of operation. In this mode of operation the Q-Drive
continuously optimizes the system performance and efficiency around fuel
economy and electric operation. The high efficiency traction system and
stable battery pack operating characteristics provide for full no-compromise
electric performance on the urban driving schedule. The total achievable all
electric range of greater than 50 miles is realized while in Stealth mode. In
this mode the maximum vehicle speed will be limited to 95 mph with slightly
limited acceleration. When electric mode is exited, the charge sustaining low
energy threshold has been reached. The Q-Drive system then transitions to
HEV operation. In HEV mode, the Q-Drive still optimizes fuel economy.
Sport is a driver selectable feature allowing for enhanced vehicle performance
operation. This mode takes full advantage of the peak traction system
performance capability and delivers the peak on-demand power and torque in
order to achieve a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 125
mph. At anytime the driver can switch between stealth and sport modes.
Should the driver wish to change back to Stealth mode, the Q-Drive will
transition the vehicle operation to the Stealth mode low energy operating
When in HEV or charge sustaining mode the Q-Drive control system operates
the vehicle very much the same as a normal strong hybrid. This includes
deceleration engine shutdown, zero speed engine-off, electric launch and auto-
start capability, and charge sustaining while maintaining charge balancing
throughout the customer drive cycle. When the driver is in Sport mode, the Q-
Drive automatically transitions to the charge sustaining mode at a higher SOC
level than when in Stealth mode. This ensures that sufficient energy is
available to support driver demands. Should the driver transition from Stealth
to Sport while in HEV mode; the Q-Drive will restore the higher low-energy
threshold. This provides for a high performance, on-demand, no-compromise,
Fuel Economy & Energy Recovery
The Q-Drive system in all modes of operation works synchronously with the
regenerative braking system and optimizes the energy recovery around driving
conditions, driver demands for downhill simulated engine braking, vehicle
speed, and road conditions.
Low, wide and coupe-like in profile, sensually sculpted surfaces mix with
dramatic and powerful proportions to give the Fisker Karma a “look” all its
own. The Karma’s dynamic stance is just as much a thing of beauty as it is a
result of the car’s proprietary technical layout. Standard 22-inch light alloy
rims at all four corners make Karma a world-leader in the wheel to body
relationship. Form and function go hand in hand at Fisker.
Furthermore, innovative and functional design features such as side-mounted
charging indicators, state-of-the-art LED-Xenon lighting, unique external-
mounted speaker covers and a one-piece solar glass roof work in harmony to
express the new design aesthetic that is Eco-Chic.
The exterior design of the production Karma is instantly recognizable and
makes no compromises, with only minor changes from the 2008 Karma show
The Karma headlamp combines a Bi-Xenon main lighting module with state-
of-the-art LEDs making it one of the most energy-efficient headlamps ever
offered. The distinctive bezel design is yet another example of the new Eco-
The tail lamps features state-of-the-art LEDs for low energy consumption
The Fisker Karma is unique in having the world’s largest continuous formed
glass solar roof panel on a car. The splayed solar cell array maximizes solar
ray absorption under various lighting conditions. The graphic accent that runs
between the solar cells gives the solar roof a unique and futuristic appearance.
Solar Roof Functionality
The Karma solar energy system converts radiated power from the sun into
stored electrical energy. All energy gained from the sun supplants that of the
batteries and fuel, effectively increasing the electric range of the Karma.
Solar Power Modes
During vehicle on mode and accessory mode, the electrical system will use all
available solar power. For vehicle off mode, the driver may choose from 3
solar power strategies…
1. Auto—the Karma will use the solar power for optimal benefit and
focus on system efficiency and reduced costs, including energy and
longevity. The Karma will use this default strategy unless the driver
selects otherwise, and the Karma resets to this strategy after each
2. Climate—the energy management system will utilize the solar power
to ventilate the passenger compartment and reduce the effects of
radiant heating. The driver can select this option from the solar menu.
3. Charging—the Karma will store as much energy as possible from solar
power. The driver can select this option from the solar menu.
The solar system architecture consists of a the solar panel and power
conditioning devices which manage the power delivered utilizing maximum
power point (MPP) tracking. The solar panel is comprised of 4 electrically
separate zones, each consisting of 20 cells in series. Each of the 4 zones
incorporates MPP tracking to maximize power output for various solar
radiation angles and partial shading conditions.
As a subsystem, it serves as an integral part of the vehicle onboard energy
management strategy to continuously optimizes and manage on board vehicle
· Locking charging port with lid for 110V and 220V charging on
driver’s side rear quarter panel (analog to fuel filler on passenger side)
High-Performance Space-Frame Body Structure
Embodied in the Fisker Karma is a high-performance light-weight aluminum
space-frame – developed by the most experienced body structure engineers in
the automotive industry. The Karma aluminum spaceframe fulfills high
stiffness targets for bending and torsion while fulfilling all current crash
standards. The strong aluminum spaceframe allows the driver of the Fisker
Karma to experience a new level of body rigidity and damping. The resulting
steering feel and the driving dynamics will be unmatched in the 4-door sports
The side glass “DLO” appears as one smooth, unbroken curved surface that
incorporates a flush b-pillar. Due to the strong b-pillar, the Fisker Karma
easily fulfills the proposed 2012 rollover protection rules.
The Fisker Karma’s vehicle architecture layout features the lithium ion battery
packaged into the tunnel enabling a very low center of gravity in the middle of
the vehicle – perfect for best driving dynamics and safety. A further
advantage of this architecture is the completely closed and rigid body shell
that surrounds the driver and the passengers between the front and the rear of
The final production interior will be unveiled in Detroit at the NAIAS on
January 15, 2009.
Chassis – Suspension:
Designed to match the unique driving experience of the Fisker Karma’s
electric driveline, the suspension system balances attributes of a grand touring
sedan with the fun-to-drive characteristics of a legitimate sports car. Using a
systems integration approach to the complex tradeoffs of an all new plug-in
hybrid platform, engineers were able to meet rigorous functional targets that
are competitive with other luxury sports sedans. The design result takes
advantage of Karma’s low center of gravity, wide track, and long wheelbase
to deliver a unique driving experience with a blend of response and comfort.
Both front and rear suspensions feature a “short long arm” (SLA) architecture
with a short spindle height. Similar to that found in many sports cars, the
compact package of the SLA suspension is compatible with Karma’s low
overall hood height and a dramatic rear end styling.
All suspension components including control arms, knuckles and sub frame
are made from lightweight cast aluminum. The liberal use of aluminum in
many chassis components reduces the overall weight, including un-sprung
weight, to improve agility and ride performance.
The Karma is controlled at each of four wheels with mono-tube shock
absorbers that are specifically tuned to improve the level of roll damping,
giving a sense of flat cornering with little body roll. The rear shock absorbers
are load-leveling, so the vehicle maintains it showroom stature at any loaded
Fundamental to the driver interface, the steering is a hydraulically power-
assisted rack and pinion. The hydraulic power unit is electrically driven and
tuned for optimum steering feel with a programmable servo assist feature.
Steering ratio is 14 to 1, with 2.7 turns lock-to-lock giving remarkable steering
responsiveness. Specific focus has been also been given to balancing highway
responsiveness with reduced parking efforts, giving a sense of an overall
smaller and more nimble vehicle.
Brake Actuation System
· Electro-hydraulic brake boost unit with integral chassis control
Electrically regenerative brake blending with friction
· Parking Brake
o Electrically actuated parking brake, bi-directional switch
Chassis – Wheels & Tires:
o Front: 245/35R22 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 with optimized
o Rear: 265/35R22 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 with optimized
Overall Vehicle Specifications
· Acceleration (‘sport’ mode)
o 0-60 miles/hour = 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6
o Top speed (continuous) = 125 miles/hour (200 km/h)
o curb weight = 4,650 lbs
o Electric Only Range = 50 miles EPA city cycle
o Total Range = Over 300 miles
· Exterior Dimensions
o Overall Length = 4987 mm
o Overall Width = 1984 mm
o Overall Height = 1330 mm
o Front Overhang = 913 mm
o Rear Overhang = 914 mm
o Wheelbase = 3160 mm
o Front Track = 1689 mm
o Rear Track = 1720 mm
· Rear Wheel Drive
o Stealth Mode = max 95 mph – battery only
o Performance Mode = max 125 mph (ICE & battery-
o Drive Motor(s) Power = 2 x 150 kW (408 hp)
· Battery Size
o Dimensions = 1870 mm L x 205 mm W x 360
o Energy Capacity = 22.6 kW hours
· ICE Power-Train = 2.0 Liter DI Turbo Ecotec
· Exhaust System Location = Engine Bay
· Transmission = Not Required
The Fisker Karma will be assembled by Valmet Automotive in a highly
automized assembly facility. Valmet Automotive is currently producing the
Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman. The first Fisker Karma will be
delivered to customers in November 2009. Yearly volume is anticipated to
reach 15,000 cars per year.
A total of 40 retailers for the U.S. will be established by October 2009. Fisker
Automotive will announce 20 of their Retailers in January 2009. European
pricing will be announced at the International Geneva Motor Show in March,
Fisker Automotive, Inc.
Fisker Automotive is a privately owned car company with Henrik Fisker as
the CEO. Fisker Coachbuild, LLC will be the exclusive design house for
Fisker Automotive through the entire range of product development. The
company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto
Investors and Qatar Investment Authority.