The Price of Karma Popular Science

14 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The Price of Karma Popular Science отключены
Tesla Model S

Greener than a Prius and than a Maserati, the Fisker promises to change the way the world about electric cars. The problem is that nobody the company has driven one yet. Henrik Fisker tempt into the electric age, or is he a relic of the past?

Future Man

Fisker with a clay of his closely guarded electric sedan

John B. Carnett

wide and low-slung, the car looks unplaceable. It’s the length of a CLS, the width of a BMW 7-series, and the of a Porsche 911, says the spokesman at the wheel. The front end is so that it must hold at a V8, but in fact there is no discernible noise, only the quiet of electric motors.

Instead, a of external speakers emits—for sound somewhere between a One car and a starship.

The car is a racy four-door, two more roomy seats us and trunk enough for two sets of clubs. Above us stretches a panel, built into the And the whole thing is controlled by a touchscreen in the dash.

As we wheel into a fancy center, I feel like Bond arriving at MI6.

Or at that’s what I imagine like to ride in the Fisker It’s the long-awaited plug-in supercar that is supposed to in a new era of upscale, luxurious green hopefully at the same time the American automotive industry. by a $529-million U.S. government plus another $300-odd in venture capital, Fisker aims to do what Tucker and could not: create a big, successful American

This car is more sexy and than any other car you’ve boasts designer Henrik Maybe it is. But I haven’t driven

I’d tried for weeks to a rare Karma test but no dice. So right now the flack and I are in his black Audi wagon, a purple baby seat in the No head-snapping torque, no starship no revolution on wheels. We’re not ready to show it yet, he as we pull into the mall to up lunch.Almost no one outside the company has driven the Karma.

The lone exception is the Crown of Denmark (well, his chauffeur), who at December’s Copenhagen global-warming in one. Apart from car and a handful of low-speed public the seven working prototypes been off-limits to outsiders. now, seven months working cars are supposed to in Fisker’s 45 dealerships, the company has yet to a journalist to ride in a Karma. the Fisker sound, meant to pedestrians, is under wraps. not releasing that yet, the tells me.

We don’t want to away the secret sauce.


Fisker prefers a rear end, which happens to fit the requirements of the drivetrain.

Fisker Automotive


Perhaps Fisker’s secrecy is After all, 1,600 customers have preordered the Karma without even a drive. His reputation is what it.

Fisker created the BMW Z8 roadster in the 1999 Bond film The Is Not Enough and then, at Aston updated the beloved Vantage V8. a god of car design. But the secrecy has also skepticism about the company.

The Karma’s delivery date has from the fourth quarter of to September 2010 to later year. Customers placing new meanwhile, supposedly won’t a Karma before next

This is supposed to be the year of the car, the beginning of the New Age of the automobile. A of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids are set to reach the market the next 12 months.

The theme most of these cars is Last month, customers to reserve the eco-chic Nissan a roomy, airy runabout, to be priced like a Honda that looks to be this answer to the Prius. This is the scheduled debut of the much-anticipated Volt, a plug-in hybrid General Motors hopes save its bacon.

And the fourth will see the first shipments of the Coda, a functional $30,000-something manufactured in China and sold by a Santa Monica–based start-up.

But some green-car buyers want to give up sex appeal. Motors, the Silicon Valley that is perhaps Fisker’s competitor, has sold about of its ultra-sporty, electric Roadster (0 to 60 in 3.9 at $109,000. Audi, Mercedes and BMW all EVs or hybrids in the works, and Porsche unveiled its 918 Spyder plug-in concept.

Karmic Ancestor

A military ride, the Aggressor, the Karma.

Courtesy Quantum

But the most anticipated debut of one that has inspired real among the diehards who like cars throaty and powerful—will be the unveiled as a concept car a little than two years ago and scheduled for late this year. The car a nearly billion-dollar bet on the future of automaking. It’s an attempt to from scratch, an American car that will defy merely by surviving. Not only the company actually plans to cars to Europe and Asia. And it all from the outsize ambition of Fisker.

He’s become very to this industry, says an involved in the electric-car business. I even think he realizes how he is.

The federal government believes in Last September, the Department of awarded Fisker Automotive a loan to finish the Karma and work on its next car, the affordable four-door code-named Fisker hopes to sell Karmas, and then a whopping Ninas.

Last June, Fisker made the cover of which dubbed his company The Detroit.

But this isn’t a product release. It’s the first ever, incorporating that no one, including the of automotive engineering, has perfected Which is why Fisker’s secrecy is

Some are leery of Quantum Systems Technologies Worldwide, a company that created the with Fisker. And Fisker is on its battery supplier in three A mishap in a Fisker—or any other cripple the whole segment, buyers and investors away. are 750 gas-car fires every an EV engineer told me.

But with battery-powered cars the Karma, one single failure be headline news.

The company has a respected founder, attractive and a half-billion-dollar government loan. But is sleek, expensive vision of an vehicle a forecast of the future, or the of rarefied concept that the past?

Anybody can draw a f- box, says a car-company who has observed Fisker closely. matters is what’s inside, the that makes the thing go. And has seen that yet.

Integrated solar panels add 200 miles per year and help the AC and the battery.

Courtesy Fisker

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