First Contact: Fisker Karma

Our first encounter with the Fisker Karma takes place at Etehad in Halstenbek. On the way, some thoughts go through my head. Fisker Automotive is a young company, the Karma is the first product sold under its own brand. An electric car with range extender on top of that. So the expectations are not too high for a newcomer. Or?

Fisker Karma, sports car with range extender and battery

In Halstenbek we meet Masoud Etehad, owner of the car dealership of the same name and one of 7 Fisker dealers in Germany. We know each other from last year's Saab Dealer Tour and from our joint appearance at Vox. On our request for a Fisker day in Hamburg, there was a positive response. Masoud Etehad is a Hamburg businessman through and through. What he does he does with passion and consistency. The Fisker representation was planned for a long time and since a good 10 weeks the vehicles are available.

22 ″ rims and Brembo brakes

There is karma in the showroom and the first impression is “wow”. Broad, flat, sinewy. The sideline is reminiscent of a big cat on the go, the rear reveals Henrik Fisker's work for Aston Martin. The karma could also be a sports car from a noble English manufacturer. In the “Silver Wind” paint scheme, the Fisker sparkles like a diamond, which is a deliberate effect. Because there are small, ground glass particles in the paint - made from recycled glass. Fisker lives the environmental idea and - okay, okay - we are here in front of a car with impressive 22 ″ rims and 408 hp system performance, which is also supposed to be the most environmentally friendly car on the market.

Solar roof Fisker Karma

The skepticism that this could all be just marketing disappears by the minute. Fisker has been thinking and the green basic idea is consistently pursued. No tree has to be felled for the wood applications in karma. The interior wood is “residual wood”, such as “Rescued Wood” from the 2007 firestorms in California or “18th century Sunken Wood” from the bottom of Lake Michigan. The leather comes from the world's first energy-self-sufficient manufactory, while processing ensures a minimal degree of waste. For those who like it, karma is also available with an interior that is free of animal products. The “Ecostandart” equipment level then supplies carpets made from recycled PET and soy-based seat foam and so on. Luxury with responsibility for more than 100.000 euros.

The Fisker story reminds me of the good old Saab years, 20 years ago. Saab then used wood from plantation cultivation, which was considered extremely environmentally friendly, while other manufacturers unabashedly processed tropical woods.

Direct injection Turbo as range extender

The karma is built at Valmet in Finland, formerly Saab-Valmet, and therefore a parallel. As if that wasn't enough, I open the door, take a seat behind the steering wheel and feel comfortable straight away. The seat like in a Saab, the puristic controls logically arranged. And when we are talking about Saab and Fisker, who lives under the hood of the Fisker - well we know each other - as a range extender the 2 liter turbo direct injection engine from the Saab 9-5 II.

Designed in California - built in Finland

Inside you can see what happens when a designer makes his own mark. No controller that slows down the fun on the car. Noble and authentic materials, perfectly processed, wherever you look. If Fisker manages to establish itself as a new company on the market, the boards of directors in Ingolstadt and Stuttgart will get a headache on this interior.

Because the Fisker not only pretends to be noble, it is easy. For optical reasons, there are glass inlays in the door pads, as well as in the center console. Real glass, no "I'm pretending". If you give an operating command via the center console, an optical flash scurries through the glass towards the dashboard. A lovely detail. The window regulators are made of milled aluminum. Everything I touch is real and everything is arranged very tastefully. My underlying fear that the Fisker might be a little too American-style fades away in a matter of seconds.

Fisker Karma cockpit

The operation is intuitive, and if you have an iPhone or an iPad, you don't need a manual in the Fisker. Both Apple products are easy to integrate and every operating step is immediately apparent. Which brings us back to car manufacturers who want to sell us their operating concepts as “simple” using some silly rotary switch in the center console. It was like that 30 years ago. An operating concept is only good if I don't need a manual. The Fisker's touchscreen shows how easy it is, and Munich and Ingolstadt look very old.

Fisker Karma center console

The Karma wants to be a sports car, not a limousine. You sit well on all 4 seats, of course better in front and more opulent than in the back. The car designed in California and built in Finland should accelerate from 6.6 to 0 in 100 seconds. With a consumption of 2.2 liters per 100 kilometers. Now we want to drive the karma and we have a problem ... the demonstration vehicle has been sold and the new delivery is rolling onto the courtyard.

We get a new demonstration karma, directly from the truck. Isn't that a bit brave, I think to myself. Cars for the media are usually meticulously prepared and we get a brand new Fisker, just like that! If that goes well ... How the Fisker Karma drives, Tom and Mark's first trip in an electric sports car, you can read that tomorrow.

Text: tom@saabblog.net

Pictures: saabblog.net

8 thoughts on "First Contact: Fisker Karma"

  • At the Fisker Karma my eyes were stuck at the last IAA (lack of SAAB stand) and my wife had to move me!
    Really worth a sin!
    Could be a real alternative to my 9-5II.
    I am 20 kilos less, then the karma should fit. Put the saved candy money in a piggy bank and empty it in 2 years ... we'll see.

  • The car has according to data sheet only 262 kilo payload! This can not be it. And 2,5 tons of curb weight is also an announcement.

  • At the local dealer, at least 5 pieces oxidize in the open air (!). The workmanship of the door handles is really bad in this price range. The design and the silhouette are great. The shape of the roof to form a really wide rear side wall is also spectacular. Nice: You can look at the Styrofoam foam behind the bumper cover through the front grill parts.
    But the price and the perspective of the vehicle in maybe 5 years or the manufacturer plus spare parts with availability etc. is probably a challenge for the dealers and the potential customers

  • Thinking outside the box is top notch! I'm looking forward to the driving report and even more glimpses into it, let me call it “exotic camp”. If Tom and Mark continue to test non-everyday cars alongside SAAB, that would be the icing on the cappucciono for me!

  • Karma generates emotions, which is what Saab overslept.
    A small manufacturer can only survive if it stands out from the mass taste.
    I like the Karma very well, unfortunately for me beyond my budget. How poor, on the other hand, are the competitive top-class products, in terms of design and technology.
    Especially the design of the Porsche Panamera, reminiscent of a sleek VW 412, is only embarrassing. A manta for the rich.
    My first Saab came from Nystad by Saab-Valmet, I wish the Finns every success - it's a shame that Saab did not manage to develop such a vehicle!

  • Car design has always been my passion. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the Design College in Vervey (part of the college in LA - where Castriota was) so I limit myself to designing other things. But I have to say, completely neutral, even if I don't like the rough edges, but the design seems to be coherent. from front to back.
    Very disciplined here and there, the line was pulled through.
    Only the color gradients in the display confuse. Almost too playful, almost too lovely.
    I wish the Fisker and his creators good luck. So much discipline must be rewarded.

  • Good morning.

    When I recently had to wait about 2 hours for installation on the Saab, I was also allowed to take a look at this car.
    http://www.bilder-upload.eu/show.php?file=d16c28-1346057950.jpg

    I just saw how Saab brochures disappeared from the shelves and were replaced by Kia brochures, for example ... that hurt a bit! ;-(

    The karma looked very spectacular and seemed to me to be of high quality!
    However, I didn't really like the optically “slight” kink between the bonnet and windshield “live” and a slightly larger fold gap at a point where 3 parts came together (bonnet, pillar and side, I think, but it's more technical ).

    However, I didn't dare to sit in the car - I was a little afraid not to get out again! 😉
    The car is really flat.
    But for a sports car, the interior seemed quite spacious to me.

    When I was in HH, there was a second outside. Some passersby passed by and looked very interested in the car.

    However, the price would deter me personally.
    But I would be interested to know how many Fiskers are already “roaming around” in De.

    I'm really looking forward to your driving report !!!!

  • What does a 220HP engine want in a range extender? Or is it not a range extender and “just” a plug-in hybrid?

    As for the interior, I have mixed feelings. Materials seem to be ok and so the workmanship, but nice is something different. For example, the two-clock instruments, where you have to look a little longer, because it is not clear which is the more important indicator.

    I've seen Karma a few times at fairs, and it has never convinced me.

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