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Prince Albert II of Monaco behind the wheel of the first Fisker Karma off the production line

08 June 2011

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While the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix took centre stage last week in Monaco, the car to capture the attention of the motor sport circuit was the Fisker Karma. Behind the wheel, Prince Albert II of Monaco, accompanied by company co-founder, CEO and executive design director, Henrik Fisker. +PHOTOS
The first Fisker Karma off the production line in Uusikaupunki, Finland, received a lot of attention at his debut in Monaco during the prestigious Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. The luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was on static display alongside the racing circuit both at the chicane exiting the tunnel, turns 10 and 11. However, even more heads turned when Prince Albert II of Monaco drove the Fisker through town with CEO Henrik Fisker in the passenger seat.

“The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) cars that deliver pure driving passion,” says Henrik Fisker, CEO and executive design director.

The price tag for the Karma in the U.S. is $95,000 and around €100,000 in Europe. Fisker plans to sell 15,000 units of the PHEV within the first 12 months of full production (Summer 2011-Summer 2012), with over 3,000 orders already having been placed.

Sustainable luxury - a way to make EVs attractive

“During the entire Monaco F1 week-end the Fisker Karma was without any doubt the most admired car in the Principality of Monaco. No 'conventional' supercar, despite their 8 and 12 cylinders engines, was collecting so many 'turning heads' like the Karma. This is confirming us that people today are prepared to accept a significant change of culture when it comes to the acceptance of electric cars. Fisker Automotive is demonstrating that driving electric cars does not mean at all that we have to give up something to be environmental friendly. This is what we understand talking about sustainable luxury,” adds Gianfranco Pizzuto, CEO of Fisker Italia.

The Karma is further on display in the in Cavallari – Monaco Motors, Fisker's newest dealership, located on 6-11 rue Princesse Florestine, MC 98000. In total, Fisker aims at 45 dealerships by the end of July in Europe, adding to the 45 already existing in the U.S. In China, the world’s largest car market, the company signed a deal with retailer China Grand Auto and will have according to the Financial Times, 22 dealerships by the end of this year.

About the Karma

The only true Electric Vehicle with extended range, the Fisker Karma drives its rear wheels using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km). The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors; there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

Uniquely, the Fisker Karma can run in one of two drive modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximises efficiency, giving the car its greatest range on battery power before activating the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain battery charge. In Stealth Mode, the Karma can accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). With Sport Mode engaged, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, allowing the Karma to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

The next model in the pipeline

Fisker is raising funds to finance a move into production of the Nina, a smaller and for the mass-market intended model. So far, the company has raised over $600 million (~ €409 million) of equity. Fisker will build the Nina at a former GM plant in Delaware. The Nina will sell for about half the price of the Karma.






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