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It’s no secret Fisker Automotive is in trouble. The maker of premium electric cars is clinging to life by its fingernails. One more setback could send them plummeting into the fiery abyss of financial ruin. Still, even if they roll snake eyes the firm’s founder has more than a few thoughts on what future transportation will be like.
Tesla and Fisker are essentially polar opposites right now, despite both specializing in developing luxury electric vehicles for the automotive industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has never shied away from speaking his mind, and the bold CEO has been highly successful in developing his businesses.
Originally code named Project Nina, Fisker Automotive unveiled its newest model on the eve of the 2012 NY Auto Show. Now called the Atlantic, it may be a concept car, but according to company co-founder Henrik Fisker it’s 90 of what the production car will be.
Fisker didn’t provide a timeline on when it hopes the car will make it to market and based on the numerous delays the brand’s first car, the Karma, took to launch, it could still be a while. Few exact details are know about the car, but at its reveal Henrik Fisker did provide some insight, as well as plenty of info on exactly just what its main competitors will be.
GALLERY: Fisker Atlantic Concept
For more on the Atlantic, watch the video below:
Fisker Automotive announced today that former Chrysler head Tom LaSorda will replace the company’s namesake, Henrik Fisker, as the new CEO.
Fisker first called LaSorda to join the team as an observer and to assess the company as a whole. After two months of evaluation,He asked LaSorda to become CEO. Fisker meanwhile announced his intent to “build the brand globally” and make it his personal task to push sales in foreign countries. In lieu of his previous position, Fisker named himself the company’s executive chairman.
LaSorda seems like a safe choice to further the brand: As a 32-year veteran of the automotive industry, he knows a thing or two about running car companies. “I am delighted to be assuming such a central role at this exciting time in Fisker Automotive’s history,” LaSorda said.
With financial troubles recently plaguing the company, Fisker might need a boost to keep afloat. The company also announced this morning that the Fisker Surf, which is a hatchback Karma, will debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, and be ready for delivery by early 2013 at the latest.
While the company’s future is unclear, it seems that the California start up is doing everything in its power to keep from failing.
Citing complex certification processes, Fisker Automotive has cut its sales target for the plug-in hybrid electric Karma once again.
Initially set at 15,000 units for 2012, in November the American start-up automaker headed by renowned automotive designer Henrik Fisker shopped the forecast to 12,000 units in November. Now Fisker has reduced that goal once again, to 10,000 units.
According to the company, extensive mileage and emissions certifications are to blame for getting the car to market slower than expected. In addition, Fisker has encountered other issues with a recent software glitch that halted production, as well as a recall as a result of a possible coolant leak.
GALLERY: Fisker Karma
Just as the Karma begins to enter showrooms, Fisker is raring to get a move on its Project Nina. However, despite the optimism, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Fisker. Although it was initially intended for the $50,000 Nina hybrid to be completed by 2012, circumstances require the product’s launch to be pushed back a year to mid-2013.
Quite a lofty bar has been set as Fisker’s team of 120 personnel expands another 2,500 workers to operate a made-for-Nina manufacturing plant in Delaware. While humble sales numbers are expected for the Fisker Karma, company fonder and CEO Henrik Fisker intends for Project Nina to reach a production volume of 100,000 cars per year.
Earlier, CEO Henrik Fisker announced that Nina will be a competitively priced smaller hybrid sedan, receiving 2.0 liter supercharged TwinPower engines supplied by BMW.
Fisker Automotive has finally been given EPA certification and as a result can start officially selling cars. The U.S.-based builder of luxurious yet green vehicles has received a 52 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) rating for its Karma sedan.
With a 32 mile electric-only range, the Karma’s gasoline only rating is a less impressive 20-mpg. To put this into perspective, the Chevy Volt gets a 93 MPGe rating with a 37-mpg rating on gas only, whereas the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is 87-MPGe rating with a high 49-mpg on gas only.
It’s important to point out, however, that the Karma is also a stunning looking luxury sedan that’s capable of accelerating to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
“We are delighted to have EPA certification and fuel economy ratings that verify the Karma’s remarkable green credentials.” said Henrik Fisker, CEO and co-founder of Fisker Automotive.
“As with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car. We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car, thereby running on zero emissions. Overall, we are very pleased with the results of EPA’s tests. The Karma is a groundbreaking product with a unique powertrain.”
GALLERY: Fisker Karma
For the honor of owning the very first Fisker Karma available in the UK, one lucky bidder paid £140,000 (that’s US$220,680). And yes, while you may think it’s an excessive price, you’ll be happy to hear that the money went to charity.
Selling for over double its market value, the Karma is an extended range electric vehicle and this one was the main attraction at the 2011 Pratham UK Gala. This Karma also comes with a plaque signed by Henrik Fisker, the CEO and Co-Founder of Fisker Automotive.
Developed to be driven anywhere in the world, this EV is the only luxury sedan that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements. Making it even cooler is the fact that it comes in two drive modes: Stealth and Sport. When you’re in Stealth Mode, the Karma is able to maximize its battery before activating the gasoline engine-driven generator. In Stealth Mode, you can go from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.9 seconds while reaching a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). Switch it to Sport Mode and the gasoline engine lets you go from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).
The money raised by the sale of the Karma goes to Pratham UK, an overseas chapter of the children’s charity founded in Mumbai by UNICEF in 1994, which has helped over 36 million Indian children through its literacy campaign.
Fisker Automotive has had some delays in getting the Karma to market, but during that time the American electric car maker has been busy creating plans for a full lineup of models. Following the Karma will be the Karma S convertible, debuting some time in 2013, followed later that year by the Nina, an entry level model designed to be an affordable electric car.
If you’ve been following the Fisker story, none of this is entirely new to you. But this will be: a Fisker crossover. Yes, according to one report, Henrik Fisker has confirmed a sort of crossover model, which is described as a mix between a sporty estate (read wagon) and an SUV.
It’s being rushed into production as well, and is set to be on sale next year. We’ll get our first look at the new model (likely in concept form) when it debuts at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. Fisker is reportedly working on an AWD system and this may be the first example we see of it in use.
Expand the idea to a full-size vehicle, and the results are certainly thrilling. So far, all fully-electric vehicles have had a drawback, their single-speed gearbox, which tend to neuter the driving experience.
No one has been able to adopt a multi-speed gearbox to work reliably with an electric motor, but Henrik Fisker is working on just that for his Karma plug-in hybrid sedan.
Fisker believes he has a solution, which if it works reliably, would offer Karma drivers “Veyron levels of performance.” That means that the four-door sedan could accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 3-seconds.
No timeline has been given as to when this system will become available, but with such impressive performance figures, we can hardly wait.
However, it now seems that the project is finally well on its way to hit the open road, as the first Karma is set to be delivered later this month, to none other than Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio.
Other notable names on the order list of this plug-in hybrid super sedan include Al Gore and Colin Powell.
The Karma as many of you know, is powered by two electric motors, which can power this car for about 80-miles on just battery power alone. Once the battery runs out of juice, a GM sourced 2.0-liter, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine will come into play to take you the remaining distance. The idea is, you get green motoring without any mileage limitations.
Fisker says they have secured about 3000 orders for the Karma, which is being built by Valmet in Finland. Currently only 5 cars a week are rolling out, but that number will jump to 300 per week from November.
Henrik Fisker, the CEO of the company has said, “Our sales are split 50:50 between early-adopting car enthusiasts and total non-car enthusiasts who just like that we are bringing something totally new to market. They recognize the infrastructure isn’t there for electric cars, and see we offer a stylish, stress-free alternative with no range compromises.”
The Karma sedan is priced from around $100,000. Later, a convertible and wagon version will also be offered.
Remember the Fisker Karma? The plug-in hybrid luxury saloon from an upstart California automaker was touted as beating the Volt to market when it debuted over two years ago, a testament to the ability of small companies to get things done when giant automakers flopped their bloated carcasses into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But the Volt is now on sale the the Karma? Well, Fisker is proud to announce that after what seems like endless delays, it has now officially entered production, with the stunning, powerful and incredibly fuel efficient $88,000 machine hitting dealers in April.
The Karma, in case you’ve forgotten, makes 402-hp and can run up to 50 miles on pure electric power. And unlike the Chevy Volt, it’s got power seats.
Plug-in automotive upstart Fisker Automotive have had their share of delays, but the company is still working on expanding its product portfolio, even though the first customer cars have still not been delivered.
While many were hoping to have taken delivery of the Karma plug-in hybrid sedan last year, delays have pushed that date to later this year. But they are getting closer, as Henrik Fisker allowed a few European journalists to have a go in a pre-production model earlier this year, and the latest version was sitting pretty at the recent Geneva Motor Show.
Now Henrik’s business partner Barney Koehler has given a little more insight as to what the company is upto. Speaking with Automotive World, he said; “After Karma, there will be another car, which we are launching in Frankfurt this year, and selling six months later. Then there will be Sunset (convertible), one year later. We have one platform for Karma and two derivatives, meaning a total of three body styles. … We want to keep it under wraps. It’s a good-looking car, and our dealers are going crazy about it. They love it, and they love the fact that it will be available so soon.”
Koehler added that this new model will also be built by Valmet in Finland. He also mentioned that Fisker expects to sell 7000 vehicles this year and about 15000 in 2012. We wish them all the best, and guys, feel free to drop us a test car or two at the AutoGuide office.
[Source: Automotive World]
In 2005, Henrik decided to start his own designer car company and thus Fisker Coachbuild was born. His first car was called the Tramonto and it was based on the underpinnings of the Mercedes-Benz SL-model. Regardless of the engine you had on your SL, Fisker had an engine tune program for it. The most popular model for conversion was based on the SL55. Fisker had enlisted the help of the Danish tuner company Kleeman to do all the engine mods, and they were able to get 610-hp from a motor that originally had 493-hp. So it was fast, and thanks to a custom exhaust system, very loud also. We know this because we have driven this car, and know exactly how alluring it truly is.
The original plan was to make a limited run of 150 cars, but sadly only 13 ever got made, which makes them quite collectible and also very hard to find.
But we have found one that is up for sale in Needham, MA. This privately owned 2007 model has reportedly only covered just 1,609-miles, and has the Kleeman tuned SL55 supercharged motor.
The seller is asking $150,000 for it, which is a bargain when you consider that a brand new Tramonto was going for nearly twice that.
Since Fisker has now gone into the plug-in hybrid car business, this Tramonto will remain a very rare and unique car indeed.
[Source: Dupont Registry]
Montecito Motors in Santa Barbara, California has listed this 2008 Fisker Latigo CS on eBay. With a starting bid of $90,000, the coachbuilt BMW M6 was designed by Henrik Fisker who also designed the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage.
It’s a small price to pay to own something so unique on the road, but it’s hard to believe it’ll stay in the high 5-digit, low 6-digit range, especially considering the original (one of just 150 in the world) costs well over $340,000. The exterior body work is handbuilt and the interior has been re-trimmed. The 5.0L V10 under the hood has received a few tidbits to overhaul horsepower to 648 thanks to Racing Dynamics. The car also sports a set of 20-inch Fisker proprietary wheels.
So you like the majority of the BMW M6 but you’re not a fan of the exterior styling? Maybe this Fisker Latigo CS V10 is for you if your wallet’s deep enough.
GALLERY: Fisker Latigo CS V10
Fisker Automotive, the company that beat both General Motors and Toyota to market with a plug-in hybrid, has been awarded a $527 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop affordable plug-in hybrids.
The majority of the loan will go towards building a new generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that will cost $39,900 after tax credits. The remainder will go towards final development of the Karma PHEV. The Karma uses a technology similar to the Chevy Volt, but is considerably more powerful, allowing the 403hp luxury car to hit 62 mph in six seconds while getting 67 mpg. It can drive on pure electric power for up to 50 miles, with a total extended range of 300 miles.
The loan is part of the Department of Energy’s $25 billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.
Fisker is calling its new initiative Project NINA, after the ship belonging to Christopher Columbus, symbolizing a move from an old word to a new world.
“This conditional loan represents a significant step in America’s future,” said Henrik Fisker, CEO. “With it Fisker Automotive can rapidly develop affordable clean cars that satisfy our passion for driving and help restore the U.S. as an auto industry leader.”
Fisker says the project will create or save at least 5,000 jobs among U.S. auto suppliers and in manufacturing the hybrids.
Ahead of its German debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week Fisker has just released the expected fuel economy numbers for the four-door Karma plug-in hybrid. The 403hp luxury sedan has been rated at an impressive 67 mpg (3.5L/100 km).
While offering fuel-economy better than vehicles like the Toyota Prius, the Karma promises a luxurious and spacious cabin, a sporty drive and a 0-62 mph time of about six seconds.
As a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) similar to the upcoming Chevy Volt, the Karma will be able to drive on pure electric power for up to 50 miles, with a total extended range of 300 miles. Fisker’s calculations say the car is capable of using just three cents of gasoline per mile, with an average of seven cents per mile a more realistic real-world number.
“The Fisker Karma is the future of driving,” said Henrik Fisker, CEO. “It proves we can drive environmentally responsible cars without sacrificing the emotional things that made us fall in love with cars in the first place.”
Official release after the jump:
Convertible Hardtop concept will see production
Fisker Automotive had on display at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit the production version of its Karma hybrid that it first unveiled in concept-form at the show 12 months ago. The company also took the wraps off a new concept, the Karma S – a hard top convertible featuring Fisker’s Q-Drive hybrid powerplant.
The Karma S is quite possibly even more beautiful than the sedan version with similar styling and CEO Henrik Fisker’s own signature style.
The Karma S, like the sedan, will use the Q-Drive hybrid system designed by Quantum Technologies. Using a direct injection 2.4-liter four cylinder Ecotec engine, mated to two electric motors the Q-Drive powerplant makes 408hp and can propel the Karma to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds – almost half the time of any existing hybrid.
The Karma S is slated for production in 2011 with the Karma already taking orders. In fact 1300 Karma models have already been ordered and owners will take delivery before the end of 2009.
When asked how an upstart company like Fisker Automotive could bring a plug-in hybrid to market before automotive giants like General Motors or Toyota, company CEO Henrik Fisker said, “It is because we break all the rules. We have the best automotive engineers and at Fisker Automotive there is no pyramid. Decisions can be made right away.”
And speaking of immediate decisions, when probed about the possibility of “green lighting” the Karma S, who would make that decision and when, Fisker replied that he does and, “I’m green-lighting it right now.”
For more on the Karma production model click here.