Fisker Karma PHEV Made Public Driving Debut

Just 19 months after being introduced as a concept car, the Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) made its public driving debut this weekend, during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races.

The 403hp prototype Karma PHEV ran two laps on the renown 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca course, with Fisker Automotive co-founder and COO Bernhard Koehler behind the wheel, which managed to reach a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) while on the race track, though it used no gasoline.

“This demonstration represents a significant milestone for Fisker Automotive and PHEV technology,”
said CEO Henrik Fisker in a release for the press. “The future of clean cars is bright.”

California-based Fisker Automotive’s Karma PHEV can reach 60mph in six seconds and a top speed of 125mph, while running 100 mpg with a lower CO2 emission level than the current hybrids, the manufacturer says.

The full-size luxury sedan with four seats Fisker Karma has a range of 50 emission-free miles on a full charge of its Lithium-ion battery, and a total range of 300 miles thanks to an on-board generator turned by a 260 horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline engine. Combined with two powerful electric motors, these components make up the Q-DRIVE powertrain, which is exclusive to all Fisker automobiles.

As we said, the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid will finally hit the streets next year in May or June, after entering production in late 2009. The car will be priced at 78,780 euros, without VAT, and will be sold in Europe through a dealership network of 40 stores.
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