Fisker Karma Sunset

Fisker Automotive, the new American manufacturer of premium green automobiles, unveiled the Fisker Karma S concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today. The four-seat, plug-in hybrid hardtop convertible furthers the company’s belief that driving style and performance need not be compromised for environmental friendliness.

The open-air Fisker Karma S concept shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and clean Q-DRIVE® powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. Designed and engineered by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE® provides 50 emission-free miles on a single charge to its lithium-ion migraine battery pack, and up to 403hp from two electric motors. The power retractable hard top, a first for Fisker, glides neatly into the trunk and a unique design language sets the Karma S concept apart.

“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future.“

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Designed and Engineered to Perform, Karma Luxury Plug-In Hybrid is Clean, Green and Mean

Designed and Engineered to Perform, Karma Luxury Plug-In Hybrid is Clean, Green and Mean

Q-DRIVE®, the innovative powertrain exclusive to Fisker automobiles, is a high performance, high efficiency, plug-in hybrid electric system that delivers an all-electric zero emissions range of 50 miles. Developed exclusively by Fisker Automotive partner Quantum Technologies, a unique hardware combination coupled with the innovative Q-DRIVE® computer control system provides a unique driving experience where energy, emissions, power, feel, and economy are optimized to satisfy discerning driver demands.  Q-DRIVE®, which works in conjunction with a regenerative braking system, utilizes a large, powerful lithium-ion battery and a powerful 2-liter direct injected turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine developing 260 hp. The system has a maximum storage capacity of 22.6 kW-hrs and is capable of delivering a peak 200 kW (500 Amps at 400 Volts) of electric power throughout the charge depleting range of operation. Two powerful electric motors deliver a combined 403 hp (300kW) and a peak torque rating of 959 lb-ft (1300Nm) to the input of the differential.

The Advanced Lithium Power battery pack, located longitudinally below the floorpan along the vehicle’s centerline, has been designed to withstand the harsh automotive environment. It is a full “plug and play unit” utilizing all advanced vehicle communications software, safe cell chemistry, and multiple software and hardware features to ensure optimal performance at the highest level of safety.  Q-DRIVE® operating modes include Stealth Mode and Sport Mode, which can be selected at any point while driving. The electric-only Stealth Mode optimizes system performance and efficiency. In Stealth Mode top speed is limited to 95mph (153 km/h) and zero emissions are achieved. For optimal performance, Sport Mode can be selected on demand to deliver peak power and torque, resulting in a top speed of 125 mph (200km/h) and a 0-60mph (0-100 km/h) of 5.8 seconds.

“From the moment you first sit in the Karma you will feel the passion and performance that it delivers,” says Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “And once you start driving, you may not want to stop after just 50 miles. It really offers an inspiring drive in both Stealth and Sport Modes.”

Fully charged from any 110-, 220- or 240 volt outlet at the driver’s side rear quarter panel, the Karma’s Q-DRIVE® powertrain burns no fuel for the first 50 miles of driving in Stealth Mode. Venture further and the car operates as an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), with an efficient gasoline engine turning a generator to power the electric motors while in Sport Mode. The Karma also has the world’s largest continuous formed glass solar panel roof. When the car is on, the electrical system will use all available solar power. When it is off, the driver has three options to choose from. The default Auto setting will use the solar power for optimal benefit.

The Climate setting allows the energy management system to utilize the solar power to

ventilate the passenger compartment and reduce the effects of radiant heating. The third is the Charging setting—the Karma will store as much energy as possible from solar power. Designed to match the unique driving experience of the Fisker Karma’s electric driveline, the suspension system balances attributes of a grand touring sedan with the fun-to-drive characteristics of a legitimate sports car. Engineers were able to meet rigorous functional targets competitive with other luxury sports sedans. The design result takes advantage of Karma’s low center of gravity, wide track, and long wheelbase to deliver a unique driving experience with a unique blend of response and comfort.

To further enhance the drive, the Karma is controlled at each of four wheels with mono-tube shock absorbers that are specifically tuned to improve the level of roll damping, giving a sense of flat cornering with little body roll. The rear shock absorbers are load leveling, so the vehicle maintains it showroom stature at any loaded condition.

Embodied in the Fisker Karma is a high-performance lightweight aluminum space-frame, which has been developed by the most experienced body structure engineers in the automotive industry—Norsk Hydro. The strong aluminum spaceframe allows the driver of the Fisker Karma to experience a new level of body rigidity and damping. The resulting steering feel and the driving dynamics will be unmatched in the four-door sports sedan class.


Q-DRIVE®: Rear motor, rear wheel drive with mid-mounted battery pack and front/midmounted

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)/Generator combination


  • Stealth Mode max 95 mph (153 km/h) battery only
  • Sport Mode max 125 mph (200 km/h) ICE & battery
  • Electric Drive Motors 2 x 150 kW (403 hp)
  • Battery 200kW (peak) Lithium-ion located along vehicle centerline
  • Gasoline Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter GM Ecotec® Direct Injection
  • Transmission Not Required

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Coming to a Dealership Near You.

Fisker Automotive, the new American manufacturer of premium green automobiles, is building a worldwide retail network to support initial deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid sedan in the fourth quarter of 2009. Auto industry senior executive Vic Doolan, Director of Retail Development, is leading the effort.

Doolan’s successful tenures as President, BMW North America and President and CEO of Volvo Cars North America make him well suited for the task. Specific appointments to the Fisker Automotive Retail Network will be announced in the coming months.

“Our retail network will give consumers confidence in the Fisker brand and its technology,” said Doolan. “Partners will deliver the service to which premium clientele are accustomed.”

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