Imaginatively called the Fisker Karma, this unique, futuristic-looking sedan is designed to not only save the planet but also coddle occupants in the lap of luxury and provide them with excellent driving performance at the same time. The Karma is a stunner, a vehicle that looks ripped straight out of the showroom of tomorrow with a wide toothy front grille and graceful arches that lead back to swoopy body work. The Fisker Karma is a four door sedan that uses a technology the company calls Q Drive. Q Drive combines an electric motor with a gasoline motor, but not in the same fashion as most standard hybrids – in the Karma, the standard engine does not drive the wheels at all but merely functions as a generator to keep the electric motor running once the car’s battery has run out. According to Fisker, this shouldn’t happen for at least 50 miles, meaning that almost all city trips can be accomplished completely on battery power, or as they term it, ‘Stealth Mode’.
When set to sport mode, the Fisker Karma can combine both the gasoline engine and the electric motor in such a way that provides great acceleration – 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds – and a top speed of 125 miles per hour. The best part about it? The battery can be recharged either through optional roof-mounted solar panels, or by simply plugging the vehicle in at night. This rare innovation is especially noteworthy given that the Q-Drive system has not been installed in an economy-oriented compact car but in a fully-featured luxury sports vehicle.
Fisker Automotive may be small, but they are a company on the rise thanks to their commitment to actually produce the type of automobile that has stayed on other car automaker’s drawing boards for so many years. Hopefully their success will light the way for some of the industry’s bigger players to step up to the plug-in hybrid plate.