Set to bow at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the Fisker Karma has kept everything we liked about the concept intact, with only a few changes for production. The lower grill opening has been slightly enlarged and small fender vents have been added just aft of the front wheels for cooling. Reflectors for road legality have also been added. The huge 22-inch wheels have survived the transition untouched.
Under the hood you'll find a fantastic 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sourced from GM, coupled with a 22.6 kWh electric motor.
Out back, not much has changed. A black plastic section at the bottom of the bumper lifts the Karma's rump. Oddly, it looks like the trapezoidal tailpipes have been capped. We also see that the solar panel roof will make it to the showroom floor.
Fisker Karma concept
The Karma concept was unveiled earlier this year and in the same place at the 2008 Detroit Auto show. Going from concept to production in one year is an huge feat for any automaker's first vehicle.
Viewed from the front, the Karma's grill forms an epic mustache.
The Karma's solar panel roof will power the climate control systems when the vehicle is stopped and augment the battery charging when it is parked.
Fisker Karma concept
Big 22-inch wheels house performance brakes with regenerative properties.
LED taillamps boast improved responsiveness, brightness, and efficiency versus incandescents.
We haven't seen the production interior yet, but the concept's was quite high-tech.
Karma push-button starter
You wouldn't expect a vehicle as advanced and exotic as the Karma to use something as mundane as a key for starting. Although, we're not so sure about the center-dash placement of the Start button. It seems like a bit of a reach.
We're not sure if these soft-touch metal buttons will make it to production.
Two mode drivetrain
The Karma's drive train has two modes: a Stealth mode, which places emphasis on the electric drive train for quiet, efficient driving; and a Sport mode, accessible by flipping this paddle-switch, which utilizes both engines to the fullest for maximum power.
The Karma's bar-graph gauges vehicle range, fuel levels, battery status, and--most importantly--speed!