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 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]

Sunset in front of Karma
A standout at this year’s L.A. Auto Show is Fisker Automotives’ “Karma.” This plugin hybrid was conceived in Orange County and has a sleek, sexy body. 

Fisker will be rolling the “Karma” into showrooms toward the end of next year.

[Source: myFOXla]

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Crown Prince Frederik Fisker Karma

Denmark’s Crown Prince HRH Frederik is the first individual outside the Fisker development team driving the new eco-friendly Fisker Karma. The Crown Prince will tomorrow travel to the COP15 UN Climate Conference events in Copenhagen with the plug-in hybrid car. HRH Frederik will visit at 4 pm Hopenhagen event at Raadhuspladsen after which he will leave in the Fisker Karma at 5 pm to the Bella Center.

The prototype saloon, developed by American automaker Fisker Automotive, can travel 80km (50mi) emission-free on a single charge of its Lithium-ion battery, and an additional 400km (250mi) on a range extending generator turned by an efficient fourcylinder gas engine. Economy is 2.4L/100km and emissions of just 83g/km CO2 – better than today’s best hybrids. Still, the Karma can reach 100km/h (62mph) in about 6 seconds and exceed 200km/h (125mph).

[Source: Fisker Automotive]

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Crowd around Karma

This first of it’s kind event gave 100 owners on the waiting list an opportunity to see the Fisker Karma inside and out. Mike “LACarGuy” Sullivan was a great host for the event. The evening started with an introduction from Marti Eulberg Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing for Fisker Automotive. In her talk she explained the meaning behind the logo design for Fisker Automotive. The two bars represent the two founders and the designer’s tools used in their craft. The orange color at the top represents a sunset and the blue is for the Pacific Ocean. All of this is combined to pay homage to the company’s heritage and it’s home in Irvine, CA.

From there she introduces all the representatives that were present from Fisker Automotive. There were interior designers, exterior designers, Human integration experts and several others as well. It was great to see the excitement in each of their eyes when given an opportunity to discuss their part in bringing this revolutionary new vehicle to market.



After the introductions were complete the Karma was unveiled to a round of applause and then a pause of awe that was finally broken with an invitation to get closer and take a look at the car. Attendees were given full access to the car. The lines started to form immediately to get a chance and sit inside each position of the car. Of course the best view was from the driver’s seat. The seat position feels more like the cockpit in a fight jet than the controls of a 4 door sedan. The dash is “all glass” meaning that all the gauges are digital readouts on an LCD screen. In the center of the dash is the digital control center, here all aspect of the human to vehicle interface are controlled. Everything is well within reach, it just takes a flick of a finger to move from stereo to the navigation and back again.

Overall the car is more beautiful in person than any of the pictures can do it justice. It will be interesting to see what areas get tweaks between this prototype and the pre-production models that are set to start slowly rolling off the assembly line sometime next month.

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