World Premiere: Fisker Karma S

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.

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