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Just a year and a half after it was first unveiled as a concept car the Fisker Karma is set to take to the road track during the Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week. On August 15th, the plug-in hybrid Karma will run two laps of the world-famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca course at 11:10 a.m on August 15th, during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Race.
“The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races is the best stage in the world for great moments in automotive history,” said Fisker Automotive CEO, Henrik Fisker. “Fisker is honored to be a part of it.”
Using a 260hp GM-sourced Ecotec motor and two 201.5hp electric motors, the Karma’s Q-Drive powertrain allows the plug-in hybrid to travel 50 miles on pure electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion battery packs. But it’s more than just a plug-in hybrid, it’s a full-on luxury sedan and can even perform with a 0-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph.
The Karma will also be on display the day before at Concorso Italiano, alongside the Karma Sunset hardtop convertible concept. The Karma Sunset will also make an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 16.
GALLERY: Fisker Karma
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.