2012 Fisker Karma EcoChic – Road Test

Nobody can deny (can they?) that the Fisker Karma is the lewdest wedge of car porn to hit the pavement since the onset of the 5-mph bumper. From one 22-inch wheel to the other, the Fisker is a heartthrob, a design spectacularly unchained from the shackles of practicality and brand identity that enslave other automakers. It is an auto-show concept car before it has been horsewhipped into bland banality by the finance, marketing, and engineering departments. It is a car built by a company started by a designer.

The Karma also testifies to the many reasons why car companies are run by finance, marketing, and engineering types and not designers, especially designers like Danish ex–Aston Martin stylist Henrik Fisker, he of the handmade suits and the blow-dried blond coiffure.

The Karma’s wheelbase—124.4 inches, or about the same as a 1958 Edsel’s—is 9.4 inches longer than a Porsche Panamera’s. Yet the back seat is smaller than a Honda Fit’s. A Kia Rio’s trunk is more than twice the size of the Karma’s. You try packing two carfuls of powertrain into something this low: The Fisker saddles its aluminum space frame with one engine, one generator, two electric motors, a 315-cell lithium-ion battery pack, a roof-mounted solar panel, and three separate liquid-cooling systems, yielding a curb weight of 5297 pounds.

The cheapest version,the EcoStandard, costs $103,000, but if you desire a top EcoChic model such as this one, which is “animal-free,” it’s $116,000. Add $3200 for the sole option: sparkly silver paint—one of four “Diamond Dust” shades that includes bits of recycled glass. Groundup Opus One bottles, perhaps?

It sounds like a recipe for overcooked pretentiousness. Maybe it is, but even if you’re making a 57-point U-turn in the supermarket parking-lot aisle because the Karma’s turning circle is more than 40 feet, you look fabulous. Insert rock stars here.

But is the Karma real? We will attempt to answer that question now that we have a testable unit, just two years after the federal government loaned the company $529 million and spawned a mini-industry of devout skeptics. At this writing, Anaheim, California–based Fisker Automotive claims to have built 1250 production Karmas—one of which was supposed to be ours to test. But on the planned delivery day in late December, Fisker’s men said the car showed up with outdated software. In place of the production unit, the company handed over an engineering development car running the correct software on its onboard computers. Off we glided to the test track.

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This entry was posted in Auto Express, Car DVD Player Knowledge, Car Reviews, Fisker, Uncategorized and tagged auto GPS, car DVD player with GPS, Car GPS, car Navigation, Car Radio, FISKER KARMA auto DVD player, FISKER KARMA auto GPS, FISKER KARMA car audio, FISKER KARMA Car DVD Player, FISKER KARMA Car DVD Players, FISKER KARMA Car Stereo, FISKER KARMA DVD player, FISKER KARMA DVD Players, FISKER KARMA GPS, FISKER KARMA In-Dash, FISKER KARMA In-Dash DVD player, FISKER KARMA In-Dash DVD players, FISKER KARMA iPod, FISKER KARMA Navigation, FISKER KARMA Radio. Bookmark the permalink.

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