The 2011 Fisker Karma is a new gas/electric hybrid luxury car. Originally slated for introduction during the 2010 model year, this 4-door, rear-wheel-drive sedan is built in Finland and distributed by U.S.-based Fisker Automotive, Inc.
2011 Fisker Karma
It pairs a battery-powered electric motor with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine for 403 horsepower total. Unlike most hybrids, Karma uses plug-in technology the company calls Q DRIVE. It can run up to 50 miles solely on electric power. After that, the gasoline engine turns on a generator, which charges the car’s lithium-ion battery pack to provide power to the electric motor. Since the electric motors drive the wheels directly, no transmission is needed. The driver can select between two driving modes. Stealth Drive is designed for maximum fuel economy. Sport Drive alters drivetrain behavior for maximum performance. An optional solar roof panel allows for additional battery-charging capability, and it’s designed to keep the cabin cool on warm days. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. Trim levels include EcoBase, EcoSport, and EcoChic. All use a touchscreen interface for climate and audio controls. EcoSport models have leather upholstery. EcoChic versions have fabric seats made from bamboo viscose.