For many weeks now the Fisker Karma has been slowly coming out of production. Those cars have been secretly given out to the press for their initial reviews and impressions. We’ll start seeing more of these over the coming weeks. Here are some examples of the quotes you’ll find from your favorite outlets.

Edmunds.com

“The double-wishbone suspension with its forged aluminum arms and self-leveling rear dampers puts the Karma near the top of the sporty premium four-door class in terms of handling characteristics.”

“Interior finish and materials quality are exceptional for this class and there is no cabin more ecologically conceived as this.”

Autoblog.com

Motor Trend

“Whew – Hollywood Can Finally Park its Priuses”

“Quite frankly, the electric car’s scotch-taped-glasses image has waited a century for a guy like Henrik Fisker to come along. His Karma is a jaw-slackening design manifesto from its fangy grill to its turbulent tail.”

Road and Track

“The Karma’s digital instrumentation and 10.2-in. touch-screen are exemplary in clarity and function.”

“It’s extremely well balanced and, to me, more nimble than either a BMW 7 Series or Porsche Panamera—meant as high praise”

“ Indeed the Karma is genuinely lithe, taut, tossable and fun. It’s also plenty quick, whether in Stealth or Sport mode.”

Car and Driver

“Three years and a billion investment dollars after the Fisker Karma rolled forth as a stunning plug-in-hybrid concept, it’s finally ready to rock as a stunning production car. All in less time (and for far less money) than GM needed to produce the Chevy Volt. “

“The Karma’s steering is endowed with real road feel and linear turn-in response. The ride is supple, and there’s minimal body roll when you fling the wheel”

“ Considering its low-slung and curvaceous flanks, the Karma provides surprisingly easy entry and cozy accommodations for four grown-ups.”

“Trim is a cut or two above the $100,000 norm, thanks to fine detailing and lovely custom touches.”

“Some of those who’ve plunked down the cash are doubtless atoning for past turbo-V-8 sins, but others may be less altruistic, simply drawn to the sexiest fenders ever draped over an American sedan. Whatever their motivation, they’ll get a beautiful, luxurious machine that goes easy on the guilt.”

Auto Car

“The car is extremely swift. The Karma has excellent electro-hydraulic steering and an understeer-free chassis that seems to thrive on tight cornering. The car is a joy to drive on a tight handling course”

“Overall, the Karma is an exciting, rewarding but entirely predictable car.”

“The Karma has several vital factors in its favour, not least its stop-the-traffic looks, its thorough engineering, its great driving characteristics and a price that, while high, doesn’t look unrealistic against the competition”

“It could easily become the next must-have automobile among Hollywood’s glitterati.”

Automobile

“the most important car of the year. And for multiple reasons.”

“It’s a $97,000 car with a $97,000 window sticker. The technology is merely a bonus.”

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Fisker has introduced the production version of the Karma at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
Fortunately, the production incarnation has kept the features of the concept and added some exciting new ones. The vehicle measures 4.99 meters (196.7 inches) in length, 1.98 meters (78.1 inches) in width and is only 1.33 meters (52.4 inches) high. The car rides on the concept’s 22 inch aluminum-alloy Circuit Blade wheels. Another retained feature is the the world’s largest spherically curved, monolithic solar roof panel.
However, as we said, the vehicle also adds certain features. The most visible exterior change is the addition of B-pillars – this was necessary to meet crash test standards.
The interior comes with a industry-first 25 cm (10.2 inches) haptic feedback screen that includes the controls for the automatic dual-zone climate control system, audio/infotainment, phone, navigatFortunately, the production incarnation has kept the features of the concept and added some exciting new ones. The vehicle measures 4.99 meters (196.7 inches) in length, 1.98 meters (78.1 inches) in width and is only 1.33 meters (52.4 inches) high. The car rides on the concept’s 22 inch aluminum-alloy Circuit Blade wheels. Another retained feature is the the world’s largest spherically curved, monolithic solar roof panel.

Fortunately, the production incarnation has kept the features of the concept and added some exciting new ones. The vehicle measures 4.99 meters (196.7 inches) in length, 1.98 meters (78.1 inches) in width and is only 1.33 meters (52.4 inches) high. The car rides on the concept’s 22 inch aluminum-alloy Circuit Blade wheels. Another retained feature is the the world’s largest spherically curved, monolithic solar roof panel.

However, as we said, the vehicle also adds certain features. The most visible exterior change is the addition of B-pillars – this was necessary to meet crash test standards.

The interior comes with a industry-first 25 cm (10.2 inches) haptic feedback screen that includes the controls for the automatic dual-zone climate control system, audio/infotainment, phone, navigation and vehicle systems.

[Source: autoevolution]

Coming in 2011A revised time line for the production models of the Fisker Karma were announce this week by Ray Lane, managing partner of the U.S. based venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The new estimates are for the first consumer models will begin production in February of 2011. Prior to this up to 100 cars are to be produced to allow for testing. This is still a very aggressive time line. The best estimates are that fewer than 10 cars have been produced so far. Just getting out 100 quality vehicles by the end of the year will be an outstanding feat.

[Source: Reuters]

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Fisker was founded in the summer of 2007, and many people have been eagerly anticipating the Karma. And why not? The car is undeniably attractive, with a compelling environmental story and (at least on paper) rip-roaring high performance. Henrik Fisker, the chief executive, is also a charismatic figure. But just months from the car’s debut, very few people outside the company have driven it. (The crown prince of Denmark got a Karma ride to a climate conference.)
Popular Science wrote about the Karma in its May issue, calling Fisker’s secrecy “worrisome.” The magazine also posed questions and noted that the company “is on its third battery supplier in three years.” In the positive column, the article cited “a highly respected founder, attractive prototypes and a half-billion-dollar loan.”

Karma on Showroom Floor

Another big time article for Fisker, just after the spread in Popular Science now the New York Times has picked up the story.

Fisker was founded in the summer of 2007, and many people have been eagerly anticipating the Karma. And why not? The car is undeniably attractive, with a compelling environmental story and (at least on paper) rip-roaring high performance. Henrik Fisker, the chief executive, is also a charismatic figure. But just months from the car’s debut, very few people outside the company have driven it. (The crown prince of Denmark got a Karma ride to a climate conference.)

Popular Science wrote about the Karma in its May issue, calling Fisker’s secrecy “worrisome.” The magazine also posed questions and noted that the company “is on its third battery supplier in three years.” In the positive column, the article cited “a highly respected founder, attractive prototypes and a half-billion-dollar loan.”

[Source: The New York Times]

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Fisker Karma Space Frame

The advanced aluminum space frame underpinning the Fisker Karma incorporates new levels of rigidity and strength that will give the world’s first premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle world-class ride and handling characteristics. It will debut at the Geneva Motor Show March 2-14, 2010.  Fisker Automotive’s talented and experienced engineering team designed the Karma’s space frame around the car’s unique Q-DRIVE® series-hybrid powertrain, filing for multiple patents in the process. Q-DRIVE® consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged ECOTEC® engine/generator set, a lithium-ion battery pack from A123 Systems, and a rear-mounted 403hp traction motor assembly.

Though it forms the foundation of a large sedan the Karma space frame’s rigidity is exceptional even when compared to today’s sports cars. By utilizing 5,000- and 6,000-series aluminum alloys and a unique extrusion-intensive architecture, the Fisker engineering team achieved the best balance between weight and size.  “Our top priorities when we designed the Karma’s aluminum space frame were that it have extremely high torsional rigidity and could be easily modified to accept Karma model variants,” explained Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. “We benchmarked some of the world’s best cars to create an all-new space frame that will deliver an exhilarating experience behind the wheel.  A super-structural tunnel running down the car’s centerline acts as the Karma’s backbone. It not only houses the battery pack but acts as a torque tube connecting front and rear sections. For optimal strength the Karma’s space frame is joined with 79 meters of precision CMT MIG welds and 1,058 self-piercing rivets. Each technique is used independently only where necessary to ensure top quality and durability.  The result is an industry-leading space frame that provides a solid foundation for the Karma. Few cars match its statistics: Static torsional rigidity – the amount the space frame resists twisting forces when entering a ramp at an angle, for example –measures more than 33,000 Newton-meters per degree (Nm/deg). Static bending rigidity – the amount the space frame resists flexing forces as the car enters a ramp straight on, for example – measures more than 23,000 N/mm. Dynamic stiffness – the space frame’s resistance to resonant vibrations like those felt when driving over a sharp bump or rough road surfaces—is also world class.

Priority: Safety

Thanks to intelligent engineering solutions the Karma’s space frame also provides the utmost in occupant safety and exceeds global crash protection standards.  Front impact protection starts with a patent-pending, multi-cell tempered aluminum crush box that displaces high-impact energy away from passengers. Its unique design allows it to be easily replaced, reducing repair costs that could lower insurance premiums. Dual Phase 600-Series steel reinforced components in the doors and Bpillars provide substantial side impact protection. And the lithium-ion battery’s location in the center of the car puts it farthest from impact areas.  Valmet Automotive will assemble the space frames at its state-of-the-art facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

[Source: Fisker Automotive; Image: TheMotorReport]