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Fisker Karma Production Starts

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author photo by Autotrader March 2011

If you and your wallet are both big on green, get ready for some good news. After years of delays, Fisker's Karma plug-in hybrid has gone into production.

It has been a long and interesting road for the Fikser Karma. The world caught its first glimpse of the car in 2008, at the Detroit Auto Show. After missed deadlines and even a lawsuit from rival Tesla Motors, the car is finally rolling down the line at a factory in Finland.

The Karma has a similar drivetrain layout as the Chevrolet Volt, meaning it's an electric car with a gasoline-powered generator onboard to recharge the batteries when the car runs out of juice.

In sport mode, Fisker says the Karma can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and top out at 125 miles per hour. As with all electric cars, the important figures aren't really about speed, but how useable the car is. Fisker claims the Karma's batteries will take the car 50 miles before using any fuel at all.

The Karma's green credentials are impressive. Fisker has gone to great lengths to provide the ultimate car for the wealthy environmentalists. The car's interior options list is dominated with words like 'recyclable,' 'sustainable' and 'Soy-based bio fiber.' Optional wood trim can be sourced from trees toppled by a California storm rather than a logging company.

Production delays aren't uncommon for new cars, especially for companies that are just starting out (Fisker was founded in 2007).

For a car a two-year delay isn't usually a major setback, but for a tech gadget it can be massive. Two years ago the Karma's only real competition was the Tesla Roadster. Now nearly all of the major luxury brands are working on some green alternative for their lineup.

Porsche is releasing a hybrid version of their Panamera sedan next year, and they just started taking orders for their 199 mph, 918 Spyder hybrid supercar. Mercedes offers hybrid alternatives to many of their vehicles, and Ferrari is launching its own hybrid supercar, the 599 HY-KERS. Of course the Karma's $96,000 price tag is practically a bargain compared to the $845,000 required to get into a 918 Spyder.

Of course there's also that other plug-in hybrid to consider, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt can't match the Karma's performance, but if green is your goal the Volt's $40,000 price tag might be more appealing. But then again, if being seen is as important as being green, the Karma is the clear winner. The Karma's sleek lines were penned by the same designer as Aston Martin's DB9, and its road presence is striking.

When it comes down to it, the car radiates class. Seeing one on the road is an event. And that, if nothing else, earns its price and place in the market.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Fisker Karma Production Starts - Autotrader