By on August 11, 2016

2017 Karma Revero

Rising like the Phoenix from the ashes of bankruptcy, the Fisker Karma has been reborn as the Karma Revero.

Karma Automotive, the company created by China’s Wanxiang Group after buying Fisker Automotive’s assets, just released images and video of the sort-of new Revero. The lightly refreshed plug-in hybrid luxury sedan has all the style of its short-lived predecessor, with an added bonus: reliability (or so the company hopes).

Reservations open to the public on September 8, according to a countdown clock on Karma’s website. The California-based company didn’t list a price or specifications, but we know the general layout will stay the same. Chief engineer Kip Ewing told Road & Track in June that the Revero would simply be a higher-quality version of the Fisker Karma.

The original Karma was powered by two electric motors driven (through a generator) by a turbocharged 2.0-liter General Motors four-cylinder. We know that Karma now sources its electrical components from BMW, which should help avoid the headline-grabbing reliability issues that plagued the original.

Expect a new infotainment system and a solar roof that actually delivers the goods. The company claims the new roof “will create enough energy to power the car,” something the previous roof didn’t. That doesn’t mean you can forget about the charging station in your garage — the roof will probably be good for just a handful of extra miles a week in sunny weather.

Current Fisker owners demanded a functional solar roof in the reborn model, according to Karma, making the Revero the first vehicle to offer the feature. That gives Karma some industry bragging rights.

Also unique is the Revero’s hand-painted badge, another industry first. “Consider it a small but symbolic statement about craftsmanship and individuality,” the automaker said on its website, eager to sound like a trusted purveyor of luxurious eco-chariots.

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29 Comments on “Instant Karma: Fisker Returns in Body, But Not in Name...”

  • avatar

    Now the sight of a bunch of these testing out west a few weeks ago with i8’s and i3’s in the caravan makes sense.

    No matter, I like the cars we were testing better.

  • avatar

    Wow, where to start? Lots of interesting stuff here. Like, “Revero”. Where did they cook up a name like that? But, I guess “Karma Revero” sounds better than “Wanxiang Karma”.

    And, reliability, and higher quality, from something made in China? I lol’d.

    As for the hand-painted badge? If it sells in small numbers, automated production of them probably doesn’t make sense anyway. They’re probably hand painted by prison labor, supervised by the People’s Liberation Army.

  • avatar

    What happened to the deal where Maximum Bob was going to be swapping LS engines into these?

    • 0 avatar

      Good question. His company, VL Automotive, was swapping the engines into unsold/incomplete Karmas, and offering retrofits to existing Karma owners. The resulting model was called Destino, but production was held up while the Chinese company was completing the purchase of Fisker out of bankruptcy.

      Just this year, VL Automotive (VL = Villareal & Lutz) added Henrik Fisker and re-formed as VLF Automotive. The Destino is a Karma with a Corvette engine and without an agreement for new chassis from the new Chinese owners, there are no Destinos in production. With Fisker designing new models, all VLF has to do is find somebody to build chassis for them, so they’re not dead yet, just mostly dead.

  • avatar

    When you say “reliability issues,” do you mean spontaneously bursting into flames?

  • avatar

    I call bullshit on the roof. I’m not aware of solar cells with the power density needed to generate enough power to charge vehicle batteries at the rate of drain in, say, highway cruise (or hell, even city) without the roof being MASSIVE.

    Perhaps it can charge it fast enough for some sort of limp mode in full sunlight, but you’re sure not creating a perpetual motion car here. :)

    • 0 avatar

      I brought this up on Jalopnik before they banned me again. Best case (sun at zenith, clear sky) you might get 1.3 kW/sq. m of energy from sunlight. but unfortunately the sun is only at zenith for a short time, so the available energy drops off pretty rapidly. plus even the best PV cells are about 40% efficient, so you’re probably looking at an average of a couple of hundred watts per hour during the day.

      • 0 avatar

        Yep, that sounds about dead-on. I have a 21W charger I use to solar-charge my phone and iPad while camping, it has about a 10″x30″ footprint and is about 20% efficient. If they can double that for the roof you still aren’t even going to approach half of what you’d get from a 120V15A standard wall outlet at zenith.

        And don’t go to Jalopnik! They’ve got cooties.

      • 0 avatar

        The best commercially available rooftop PVs are ~22% efficient.

  • avatar

    Loved the body on the first Karma. Got a chance to see one in person actually out in the wild and it came across looking like a ’70s Corvette with 4 doors. Talk about SEXY!!!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A hybrid running with an Ecotec 2.0 should be called “Malibu”, not “Karma Revero”, and should be priced at $30k.

    These guys obviously didn’t analyze why the Karma was such a dismal failure compared to the Model S.

    Turns out the solar panel is good for 200 Watts (, which means over the course of an 8-hour day your Karma Revero might gain 4 or 5 miles for free. Without the expensive panel, you’d need a whole 15 minutes extra charging time!

    • 0 avatar

      Or why the “first ever ELR” was such a dismal failure. $75K+ for 0-60 in 8 seconds? Uh.. ok.

      • 0 avatar

        Anything which claims “first ever” seems to be something to avoid.

        • 0 avatar

          Well the first to do something is rarely ever the best at doing it.

          The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home console but it certainly wasn’t sh*t compared to the Atari 2600 four years later.

      • 0 avatar

        It was recently noted that the Volt, the ELR’s platform contributor, has had “zero battery backs replaced due to battery degradation.”

        Proven mechanicals and a battery that’s showing it’s proverbial range. I think the ELRs, especially the post-refresh cars with more power, would make a fantastic used deal, especially as a commuter. I’m seeing 2014s with under 20K miles selling for $35K as it is.

    • 0 avatar

      It failed because it lacked LSx.

    • 0 avatar

      “These guys obviously didn’t analyze why the Karma was such a dismal failure compared to the Model S.”

      Spontaneous combustion tends to add to the fail factor…

  • avatar

    It’s a…

    (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

    Karma Chameleon.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    “We know that Karma now sources its electrical components from BMW, which should help avoid the headline-grabbing reliability issues”

    Added reliability through BMW electricals. You don’t hear that claim every day!

  • avatar

    Why did they have to make it look like a talking newt?

  • avatar

    I love the mood ring badge. So fancy.

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