¦ They call it Q Drive : The transmission-free power train features asmall gas engine that spins the generator, which charges thelithium-ion battery pack, which sends the electric motor whirring and,finally, the rear wheels spinning.
¦ Plug it in. Since the car gets 50 miles of electric-powered driving percharge, Fisker claims that people who drive less than that could gas upjust once a year.
¦ Flip a paddle to go from electric-only Stealth Drive to the power of the gassed-up Sport Drive.
¦ After 50 all-electric miles, the gas tank takes over.
¦ Aluminum on various parts of the exterior lightens the load.
¦ Take to the road with pals -- or the kids. The Karma seats four.
¦ The full-length solar roof, which comes standard with the car, is all about keeping passengers cool or warming them up.
It’s All about Karma.
(Guilt-Free Green Karma, That Is.)
Driverswho prefer the sex appeal of a sports car over the eco-friendly look ofthe Prius are about to get a hybrid all their own. Designed by HenrikFisker (the guy behind the Aston Martin DB9 and the BMW Z8), the sleekand curvy Fisker Karma (www.fiskerautomotive.com) promises emission-free driving for 50 miles a day, as long as youremember to plug it into a 110V or 220V outlet every night. Enthusiastswho ordered early will get their premium-edition Karma -- startingprice $100,000 -- in late 2009. The rest of you will have to wait until2010 for the delivery of your $80,000-or-more vehicle.
Fisker Karma Stats
Top speed on electric: 95 mph
Top speed on gas: 125 mph
Goes zero to 60: in less than six seconds
Cool optional feature: a solar panel that can be installed on the roof of the buyer’s house to charge the car
What? The sports-car styling of the Karma just isn’t you?
Here are three upcoming hybrids that won’t look out of place in your neighborhood.
Honda Insight: It's the company’s most affordable hybrid option (at least until theyrelease the hybrid Fit). Honda claims it will cost less than the Civichybrid ($23,550). Rumored price: around $18,500.
Porsche Cayenne: This peppery hybrid sibling from the luxury carmaker Porsche is almost here. Rumored price: $48,000 to $50,000.
Chevrolet Volt: This car will take the company into the future -- just as Chevroletcelebrates its 100th birthday. Rumored price: $35,000 to $40,000.