Sunday, September 11, 2016

New (Sort Of) Karma Revero Seeks To Take A Bite Out Of Tesla Model S Market

The Fisker Karma is back, sort of. After Fisker went bust in 2013, its assets were purchased by Wanxiang, a Chinese company. From 22 employees then, the company has grown to over 600 today. It plans to have nearly 1,000 by the end of the year. The Fisker name is nowhere to be found any more, but the Karma name has been retained. The new version is known officially as the Revero.
Karma Revero plug in hybrid
Details revealed during the launch this week include a starting price of $130,000, with few options available. The powertrain is virtually unchanged from the original Fisker Karma. It remains a plug-in hybrid with a 260 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder gasoline engine sourced from General Motors. 40 kW  DC fast charging is now available. The battery still uses cells supplied by A123 but has been upgraded from 20.4 kWh to 21.4 kWh. A recharge on standard household current takes 12 hours or 3 hours with the DC fast charging option.
All electric range is said to be 50 miles, which means Revero owners should be able to get to work and back without ever needing an assist from the engine.  The onboard charger has been upgraded from 3.3 kW to 6.6 kW. 0-60 in Sport Mode now happens in 5.4 seconds — 1 second faster than the original car was capable of.
Owners of the Fisker Karma complained bitterly about the lousy touchscreen. Wanxiang has focused the bulk of its attention on making the touchscreen in the new car faster and more responsive. Apple CarPlay is standard. Android Auto will be available soon. Over the air software updates are standard. All cars will come with a built-in 4G wireless hot spot.
Karma will use the same machines at its new California assembly plant that Valmet used to build the Fisker Karma in Finland. Many of the production manuals were in Finnish, so they needed translating before production began. One new feature of the Revero is a solar panel roof that can generate enough electricity in a day to move the car about 1.5 miles.
The Revero is obviously aimed at Tesla Model S owners who still suffer from range anxiety. The car is priced near the top of the Model S range. It is 2 seconds slower than the fastest Model S. It has an exhaust pipe. And while it is not unattractive, it is no ravisbhing beauty, either. Chances are the Revero’s main selling point will be that it is not a Tesla. While there may be a dozen or more Teslas at the local country club, the Revero owner will have the advantage of exclusivity.
Will that be enough to make the Revero a success? Online orders begin at the end of this month. Or you can contact your nearest Karma dealer.

Source: AutoBlog  Photo credit: Karma

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