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PHOTO CAPTION: Fisker will begin deliveries Spring 2011.

AutoExpress Reviews Fisker Karma Electric Hybrid

British publication gets chance to take pre-production prototype for test drive.

Published: 23-Feb-2011

A new challenger has entered the ring! It’s been a long time coming, but the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid is finally here, promising a 50-mile electric range, blistering pace and luxurious cabin. We’re first behind the wheel of the innovative upstart.

It’s a tough task for an entirely new firm to take on the might of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, yet the Karma’s credentials look good. A 255bhp GM-sourced 2.0-litre petrol turbo drives a generator, which keeps the lithium-ion batteries topped up.

These in turn work a pair of 201bhp electric motors attached to the rear axle, so petrol power is never used to directly drive the wheels. In Stealth mode, you can travel 50 miles on battery power alone. Switch to the Sport setting, and the engine cuts in – keeping the batteries energised and unleashing a boost in power. To ensure the car is primed for its zero-emissions mode, it can be fully charged in less than six hours from a conventional plug.

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Image from 'Pure Driving Passion' photography series features high-heeled model.

A total of 15,000 Karma plug-in hybrids will be built at Valmet production facility in Finland.

Fisker Karma is assembled in Finland.

Company looking to raise between $75-150 million.

Fisker Karma is powered by combination of electric motor and gasoline engine.

Karma has hit the same price range as Tesla’s electric sports car the Roadster.

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