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Photos: Fisker Karma

A new car company named Fisker showed off its luxury plug-in hybrid sports car and demonstrated its substantial financial backing by occupying some prime real estate on the floor of the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The company follows in the wake of Tesla in its effort to develop a successful, high-end, eco-conscious sports car.

CNET Reviews staff

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The Karma is a big, aggressive-looking sports car, with hood lines reminiscent of the Chevy Corvette. Fisker claims a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph.
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As a plug-in hybrid, the Karma is designed to go as far as 50 miles under electric power alone, making it emission-free for short trips, and it can be plugged in to recharge the batteries for another 50 miles. For longer trips, it also has a gas engine, although Fisker doesn't specify its size.
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Interesting for a sports car, the Karma has four doors, with a usable back seat, something not often found in sports cars with this look. The battery pack is also mounted in the center of the car for better weight distribution, improving handling.
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The model shown at the Detroit auto show had a solar roof, something Fisker says will be an option in the future. This roof will help recharge the batteries, potentially extending the range depending on the weather.
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Much of the Karma's dashboard appears to be in the concept stage, although the LCD mounted on the console is a common feature found in today's cars. The company intends to produce 15,000 Karmas per year at a price of $80,000 each. Production is supposed to start in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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