Gearing up for an offical public debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show next month, Fisker Automotive has released photos of what they’re calling the final production version of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid electric sedan set to start rolling of the production line at the end of next year.
It looks like there were very few modifications between the exterior of the show car Fisker had on display at last year’s Detroit Auto Show and the just released shots of the production version. The only differences really have to do with the size of the front grille and the air intake. It won’t be known what changes were made to the interior until the official public unveiling at the auto show next month.
With starting price of $87,900, the Karma is not cheap (although it’s a relative steal when compared to the $120K+ Tesla Roadster competition). Fisker says the first Karmas will be delivered in November 2009 and that all orders through mid-2010 are already sold out.
The production Fisker Karma will have an all-electric range of 50 miles (80km), after which the gasoline engine kicks in and charges a lithium ion battery pack which in turn powers the car as a normal parallel hybrid. Fisker estimates that most Karma drivers who charge the Karma overnight and commute less than 50 miles per day will be able to achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4L/100km) per year.
As opposed to a plug-in hybrid like the much touted Chevy Volt, instead of a series hybrid sytem the Karma uses a parallel hybrid system — meaning it uses gas and electric power at high speeds in parallel using a common mechanical drivetrain.
Fisker has been riding a wave of good press and news in the last few months including the announcement of a huge design center opening in Pontiac, MI, while their main competitor for the luxury environmentally-minded car market, Tesla, has been in a bit of a downturn on bad economic news.