16.9.2011 Fisker introduces Karma hybrid to UK
One of the world's newest car companies, Fisker, will introduce its first models in the UK soon through a dealership in London – but it plans to expand when right hand drive versions arrive from 2014.
The Fisker Karma is a luxury sports saloon equipped with an electric motor and a range extender. Similarly to the Vauxhall Ampera range extended vehicle, the wheels are solely driven by the electric motor and the small combustion engine acts as a generator to recharge the batteries.
Head of the company is former BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker. He has said that production of Fiskers first model, the Karma, has already started with the first delivery to actor Leonardo di Caprio. The chairman of Hewlett Packard and the Crown Prince of Denmark have also got their cars and the full roll out to customers across the world begins in October.
The patented Fisker Ever technology enables duel electric motors to drive the wheels, permitting up to 50 miles of electric only driving. After 50 miles, the engine is engaged which supports the motors for an additional range of 250 miles.
State of the art Nanophosphate Lithium-ion batteries are used for improved safety, performance and environmental consideration – they have an extended lifecycle of 10 years or 100,000 miles under normal use, and can be fully recharged in 6 to 8 hours.
To extend the range by an additional 200 miles per year, the Karma has the largest ever solar panel glass roof ever designed for a production vehicle – this further demonstrates the advanced technology and environmental credentials of the Karma.
In terms of size, Fisker said the car will have roughly the same dimensions as the Audi A5. In Sport Mode, the lithium-ion batteries and 2.0l four cylinder turbocharged internal combustion engine produce 260 bhp to the dual rear-mounted electric motors. It can deliver 981 lb/ft of instantly available torque, 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph.
Although based close to Los Angeles in California, Europe has a big role to play in the company's plans. The Karma is built by Valmet in Finland and 40 dealers have now been established this side of the Atlantic. Karma production at Valmet will be between 12,000 and 15,000 a year and the order books are already full to the end of this year.
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