Car Tech: First look – Fisker Karma extended range electric
On first look the Fisker Karma is not what you would expect from a hybrid..or extended range electric..(because the drive is always electric..the gas engine powers a generator to charge the battery)..It is stunning, all curves with a centre of gravity so low you think you are almost sitting on the ground.
Plug-in Hybrid..Extended Range Electric..call it what you will the Fisker Karma is a luxury sports sedan loaded with creamy soft, low environmental impact leather and recycled wood trim which is why Norman Hebert President and CEO of Groupe Park Avenue and partner Gad Bitton President and CEO of Holland Automotive Group decided to put the Fisker alongside Roll Royce motorcars in the same showroom.
Like all electrics the Fisker is loaded with technology, upped a notch in keeping with the Karma’s luxury status. Starting with the solar panel roof that charges the battery which helps power the Karma’s interior cooling system and provides the equivalent of about 321km per year of emission and cost-free driving. Once you strap this car on..much like the F-86 Sabres I once flew..you don’t get into this car..you wear it…the first thing you will notice that there are almost no knobs or buttons..pretty much everything is controlled from a huge 10.2″ touch screen.
The huge touch screen worked well and featured haptic feedback on button presses..text is sharp but, the colours are low key and it looks like the panel could be washed out in bright sunlight. I can see how it might take some getting used to having to control everything from the touch screen. There is however voice control which gives you voice access to pretty much all of the car’s functions. It seemed to work well with a quick response..The Bluetooth hands free is controlled by a dedicated button on the steering wheel and it also worked well.
The Fisker is a luxury sports sedan that weighs over 5000lbs so the the fuel economy is lower than you would expect from say a Chevrolet Volt which features similar technology and shares the same gasoline engine. It is not cheap, starting at $106,000. Still, it looks like a fun car to drive and it would look really good in my driveway so if you want a car that is luxurious, sporty and green this is the way to go..