Karma Birth Watch 3: Pre-Launch Production Preview

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
karma birth watch 3 pre launch production preview

Fisker seems to be getting a handle on the whole car-company routine, joining the now-proud tradition of leaking images to the web to build hype leading up to a launch. Of course that’s a little bit harder when your production model is nearly unchanged from the concept, but these considerations don’t bother anyone else in the industry. Anyway, the $88k Karma is said to get 50 miles of all-electric range before its GM Ecotec engine kicks in to generate more juice. Top speed is listed as 125mph, and 0-60 should take 5.8 seconds. Production at Valmet’s facilities in Finland will eventually reach 15k units per year, and the first deliveries will take place in fall 2009. We will bring you complete photos when the Karma debuts in Detroit this January.

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4 of 15 comments
  • Demetri Demetri on Dec 02, 2008

    Dayum. Who needs the Debt 3? Give these guys the money.

  • JEC JEC on Dec 02, 2008

    It's ambitious. We shall wait and see if it is rubbish. What irks me is the claim it gets 100 mpg. It does - for the first 100 miles. 50 miles on battery power alone, then the engine kicks in, and you consume some fuel for a rough average of 100 mpg. But it's not really 100 mpg because the engine wasn't running for half that time. And after that point who knows what it gets for mileage. All being said, his idea is a goodun - use a locomotive style hybrid, where the petrol engine ONLY serves as a charger for the electric motor. That's right, the gas engine has nothing to do with driving the wheels. Why didn't anyone else think that this might be a good idea, seeing how it's been used on submarines and diesel trains for over 60 years?

  • Maniceightball Maniceightball on Dec 02, 2008

    Actually, I take issue with this implementation (as outlined above by JEC). He's going to use an engine designed to power wheels via a transmission, meaning its torque and power curves are going to be targeted specifically at that. This affects the valve timing, cylinder count, and so on so that it's very efficient at that job. Powering a generator, however, is a less constrained task. You can design an engine to do this one particular task that results in a much more efficient system (e.g. by pushing the torque in the low-end, trying to cram as much of it in the efficiency band, etc.). I realize that this is a logistical nightmare, but there's got to be a decent 3-cylinder diesel or gas engine that fits this criteria so that you can leverage existing QA and durability...

  • JEC JEC on Dec 03, 2008

    Keep in mind this is a 80K luxury car, so tossing a wheezy 3 cylinder diesel into it probably isn't high on the priority list, even if it would do the same job as the Ecotec (which isn't really luxury car material either, is it? At least it won't sound like a broken blender.) I know if I were in charge I'd have tossed in some loud V8 lump, ala Corvette blender. I guess that's why I'm not an engineer, or an environmentalist.