In march of 2013, Fisker Automotive filed documents to declare bankruptcy after the company burned through hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private equity to build its debut car, the Karma. It would take another year for Wanxiang Group to pick up where Henrik Fisker left off, and later this month we’ll get our first look at the “new” Elux Karma. Will the Karma be any better a second time around?
Right now all we’ve got to go on is a single teaser image and rumors that Wanxiang hasn’t done much to make the Fisker Karma 2.0 look much different from Henrik’s original vision. That much actually be to the company’s benefit, as one of the few high marks for the Karma was its beautiful styling. By keeping the styling the same, Wanxiang also avoids expensive crash testing, though another rumor predicts that the company will place a higher price tag on the remade Karma, which was a money-losing proposition from the start.
Of greater concern than aesthetics were hundreds of “bugs” in the original design that led to early embarrassments, breakdowns, and even fires. Despite this though, some old names are coming back for the Karma’s rebirth, for better or worse. Wanxiang’s owner has not been shy about his ambitions to build a world-spanning electric automaker, and using the Karma as a launching point for his Elux brand that could eventually compete with Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Can a rival to Tesla be born from the ashes of Fisker? Or is this one brand that was better off dead?