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Production Fisker Karma revealed early

The world of plug-in hybrids is about to get a whole lot sexier when the production Fisker Karma debuts at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

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Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read
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production Fisker Karma
Click to view more photos of the Fisker Karma. Fisker Automotive

The world of plug-in hybrids is about to get a whole lot sexier when the production Fisker Karma debuts at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

Fisker has released early photos of the production version of the Karma, which isn't that much different from the concept revealed earlier this year at the 2008 Detroit Show.

Its mustachioed face has survived the jump to production essentially intact, although the lower grill opening has been enlarged a bit, to make it more practical for cooling we'd assume. Amber reflectors have been added to the leading edge of the wheel well and small fender vents have been added just aft of the front wheels. The LED tail lamps, huge 22-inch wheel and tire package, and (hooray!) solar-panel roof all look like they will see showroom floors.

Fisker Karma Concept
The Karma concept debuted at last year's Detroit Auto Show. Fisker Automotive

Under the Karma's swooping hood is a 22.6 kWh electric motor coupled with a GM-sourced turbocharged, direct-inject 2.0L four-cylinder Ecotec engine--the same fantastic mill that powers the Chevy Cobalt SS tested earlier. Together the two powerplants produce about 400 horsepower and a 5.8 second 0-60 time. Keep your foot planted and the Karma will eventually top out somewhere around 125 mph.

The driver will be able to select between two modes of driving. The first mode is Stealth Drive, which is the economy mode for quiet and efficient driving. By flipping the second paddle behind the steering wheel, the car will switch to Sport Drive, which will activate the full power of the vehicle.

Here's something else that's changed: the price. It appears that Fisker is bumping the asking price for the Karma up to about $87,000 (was $80,000). If that's not too rich for your blood, Fisker is taking pre-orders for late 2010 delivery.

View more photos of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.