When talking about hybrid cars, most people still think of clunky sedans, which are unattractive and lacking any characteristic adjectives like sleek, sporty or sexy. At best, many envision Toyota’s Prius, seen frequently throughout Santa Monica.
Fisker Automotive, whose headquarters are in Irvine, has taken the road less-traveled for hybrids and introduced the Karma, the world’s first luxury hybrid plug-in. It was introduced to Santa Monica at a VIP event presented by LA Car Guy, Steven McClintock.
The Karma can be charged in any outlet between 110 volts and 220 volts. For the first 50 miles of driving, the Karma burns no fuel and runs on its charge. After 50 miles, the car begins to operate on Extended Range Electric Vehicle mode, which kicks the 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine on and charges two electric motors.
When coupled together, the gas/electric components of the Karma make it possible to achieve 100 mpg with a range of 300 miles. The Karma features a 125 mph (201 km/h) top speed and is capable of reaching 60 mph from a standstill in 5.8 seconds.
It’s interior is surprisingly spacious, featuring bucket seats in the front and back, making for a comfortable and energetic interior. All of the dashboard mechanisms are presented via screen and interacted with by touch screen.
The Karma starts at $87,000. Many of those in attendance to the Santa Monica unveiling already were on the waiting list, which is about a year long at this point. Fisker hopes to sell as many as 15,000 Karmas per year.
Not only is the Karma an environmentally cleaner experience for an owner of these sporty green-machines, but because it was developed in eco-friendly facilities with zero emissions, it also makes for a clean conscience as well.