Rebadged Relic Undergoes Revamp, Tosses GM Engine

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

With the recent loss of the Chevrolet Volt, the term “range-extended electric vehicle” risks going the way of the passenger pigeon, closing the door on the era in which automakers tried to lure nervous buyers into an *almost* electric car that contained a gasoline engine only for sporadic electricity generation. The Volt had this system, the BMW i3 REx still does (but not in Europe), and the glitzy Fisker Karma popularized the term among the Hollywood elite.

The Karma met a swift end, yet lives on under a slightly altered name, all thanks to Chinese dollars. A new version of the exact same car — the Revero, sold by Karma Automotive — appeared in 2016. The California-based, Wanxiang Group-owned Karma is a low-production automaker, flinging out a few hundred examples of the Revero each year for the tidy sum of $130,000. The current car kept its GM-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder generator, which feeds two powerful rear-mounted electric motors. Combined power is 403 horsepower and a stump-pulling 981 lb-ft of torque.

As it prepares to debut a revamped Revero at Auto Shanghai 2019, Karma has detailed some changes to its ultra-lux green car. For starters, GM got the boot in favor of BMW.

Powering the new Revero will be a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder sourced from Bimmer, likely the exact same engine found in the i8. The automaker also added an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack and more powerful electric motors, which should shove the weighty sedan (5,400 lbs!) to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, or nine-tenths of a second quicker than previous.

Detailed specs will have to wait until the Revero reaches the Shanghai spotlight on April 16th, but it’s expected that the upgraded sedan’s all-electric driving range will see some sort of boost. Currently, Karma lists the Revero’s range at “up to 50 miles.” Some styling tweaks are in the cards, as well.

Speaking to Autocar, Karma’s chief revenue officer, Jim Taylor, spoke about the current Revero’s roof-mounted solar panels, which can trickle charge the battery on sunny days. The new car, spied with panels up top, may afford drivers more solar range.

“Our solar panels are twice as powerful as the original [Fisker] ones,” Taylor said. “We’re still a long way off from being able to charge it up significantly in a few hours, but if you left your car parked in an airport car park for a couple of days, you’d see more energy.”

[Image: Karma Automotive]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 05, 2019

    I saw few of them on the road (I live in Silicon Valley) and every time they look absolutely stunning out of this world. It is very sad that Fisker failed and his company became Chinese owned. It should be BEV and more attention paid to QA and production process.

  • 4drSedan 4drSedan on Apr 06, 2019

    I always thought these were stunning, as in stunning how they blew $529 million of our tax dollars and had nothing to show for it.

  • Theflyersfan I guess I should have kept my first ever car which was also a 1987 Nissan. Probably could have sold it for $50,000 by now if I was living in this fantasy world where used up 37 year old Nissans sell for the same price as a new Versa. I wish a link was here so all of us can check out this treasure among junk 200SX. The only way this car is even remotely worth that kind of money is if there are illicit substances hidden somewhere in the frame that, as part of the sale, you have to drive across the border and "make a delivery." Otherwise, get that thing off of my lawn.
  • Sobro Needs moar Roots.
  • RHD Questions? None, no, not really. Interested in some random Hyundai? No, not at all. Yawn.
  • Formula m Alfa-Romeo had the great idea to unveil my all time favourite car at the world expo in Montreal. Never built or Sold in North America. The called it the Alfa Romeo Montreal. Never even sold in North America.