Those with deep pockets, an eco-friendly attitude, and a need for luxurious speed are surely smiling with the news of an important manufacturing agreement that brings the most striking hybrid on the streets to North America in 2009.
Fisker’s premium hybrid sports sedan, the Karma, took an important step to becoming a reality on Tuesday with the signing of a contract between the Finnish engineering group Metso, its Valmet Automotive division, and Fisker Automotive, on the assembly of the premium hybrid.
Introduced in January, the Fisker Karma is a luxury sports sedan with a plug-in gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. The Karma is powered by what’s being called Q-DRIVE, a system engineered by Quantum Technologies that merges a four-cylinder engine to a generator to propel the four-door sedan. Fisker claims that the Karma can run from zero to sixty in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 125 mph. Unlike other Hybrids, the plug-in capabilites of the Karma allow consumers’ to drive the car emission-free for up to 50 miles (80km) a day if the car is charged every evening.
There are two different modes available to drivers; “Stealth Drive” is a pure electric mode which should allow the Karma to run off the lithium ion battery pack for 50 miles before the engine kicks into boost the juice. In sports mode, the Karma integrates the four-cylinder engine for peak performance and, according to Fisker, makes the Karma sound like the offspring of a jet fighter and F1 car. The batteries themselves are situated in the middle of the vehicle, which lowers the car’s center of gravity and improves weight distribution.
The first cars are to be delivered at the end of 2009 in North America with a cost in the $80,000 range.