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Production-Ready Fisker Karma to Debut in Paris

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On: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 4:13PM | By: Chris Weiss

Production-Ready Fisker Karma to Debut in Paris

Long teetering between promising luxury plug-in hybrid and vaporware, the Fisker Karma finally appears to be ready for production. Fisker announced today that it will debut a full-fledged, production version of the Karma at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, which begins in about two weeks. The car combines flowing, sporty looks with an economic hybrid powertrain delivering up to 100 mpg.

The Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The sporty sedan features a plug-in, range-extending powertrain known as Q-Drive. Q-Drive uses two 201-hp electric motors to power the rear wheels for up to 50 miles of all-electric range. Once the lithium-ion battery is depleted, the 260-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged GM I-4 engine kicks in to power it up and supply an additional 250 miles worth of range.

The engine gets an interesting assist from the solar panels mounted on the glass roof. The solar panels can charge the battery, power such peripheral features as air conditioning and store energy for later use.

In addition to its 300 miles worth of range, the Karma boasts a spec sheet full of other impressive numbers. The car maxes at 403 horsepower and 959 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and top out at 125 mph. The car is driven by two modes, a "Stealth" all-electric mode and the more performance-oriented "Sport" mode.

The Karma was originally scheduled to launch last year, but several delays have left the market waiting and analysts wondering if the Karma would ever be more than pretty vaporware. Its impressive blend of green features, stylish looks and a (comparatively) low price tag of around $87,000 have made those questions even more pronounced.

With the Paris debut, it appears that Fisker is actually on the road toward production. The model being shown at Paris will be the first Karma to roll off the outsourced assembly lines of Valmet Automotive, the Finland-based manufacturer that will produce the Karmas. Fisker plans to produce 100,000 cars annually.

The company will also use the show to detail its expanded dealer network and marketing plan. The picture above gives us a glimpse into that marketing campaign.

In a press release, Fisker explains the direction its marketing will take: "Featuring the work of avant-garde fashion photographer Miles Aldridge (Vogue, Cartier, Hugo Boss) and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception, The Italian Job, The Dark Knight), “Pure Driving Passion” changes the way cars are traditionally marketed, aims to educate consumers to the benefits of plug-in hybrid technology, and shows that environmentally conscious vehicles can be sexy."

Fisker hasn't yet released pictures of the production Karma, but it won't differ too drastically from the prototype versions Fisker has shown previously.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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