Fisker Karma

Hey, Duane here! Karma, destiny earned through actions, was the name for the first car introduced by Fisker Automotive.

Fisker Karma

I first learned of the Fisker Karma in early January 2008. The stunning prototype pictured in the magazine would be displayed that month at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.

Fisker Karma Promotion Photo
Fisker Karma Promotion Photo

Fisker promoted their Karma as the world’s first luxury plug-in hybrid sedan. It comfortably seated four adults and consumed no fuel for the first 50 miles of driving. For further distances, an efficient gasoline engine powered a generator to run the combined 403-hp electric motors.

Highlighting this balance of electric and gas power, they initially estimated an average fuel economy of 100mpg. Furthermore, performance would be provided in two modes, Stealth at 7.5 seconds 0-60mph and Sport mode at 5.8 seconds.

2008 Detroit Auto Show

Within days of learning about the Fisker Karma, I sent a deposit for this sleek new automobile. Soon thereafter, I attended the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008 to see the prototype.

So sculptural and distinctive, it was breathtaking in person. Then a presenter escorted me onto the platform to sit inside the prototype after learning that I placed a deposit on one. Its release would be in 2009, and there might be a local Indianapolis dealer.

Fisker Karma Prototype Trunk Open
Fisker Karma prototype

2010 Chicago Auto Show

As often happens, projected dates are overly optimistic. Two years after providing the deposit, an updated prototype was displayed at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2010. I attended, offered my deposit number, and was again invited to sit inside the car.

Fisker Karma Prototype
Fisker Karma prototype

2011 Fisker Karma a Reality

Another year passed. Now 2011, established Fisker dealers included two around Chicago but none in Indianapolis. I evaluated both dealers by attending open houses in June 2011. There were no test drives, but attendees could sit inside the Karma.

Eventually it was time to place the order. During my 3 ½ year wait, I purchased other cars and the Karma price rose substantially. I no longer wanted to purchase one, but my chosen dealer requested that I order it anyway with no obligation to take delivery. By then, a pre-production Fisker Karma was available to test drive, so I again traveled to Chicago and made my ordering selections. The experience was magical, but it did not sway my decision.

Because my deposit was submitted so early, my Karma would be an early production car. Thus, me declining the car when it arrived provided the dealer with an early car to display and perhaps sell at a premium. Exactly four years after placing my original deposit, the full amount was refunded in January 2012.

Fisker Demise

With only about 2450 Karmas built, the company did not survive through 2013. Financial issues of the battery manufacturer doomed Fisker as there was no back-up supplier. Eventually a Chinese company purchased the design rights and some assets of the bankrupt Fisker, formed a new company named Karma, and now builds their updated version called Karma Revero.

Regrets? Absolutely None!

It was a fun, memorable four-year experience, and I lost no money.

Now stepping back to 2008, months after placing the Fisker Karma deposit, I learned of a unique opportunity to drive multiple exotic cars. Next Sunday, read about this thrilling experience. Thanks, and always drive with allure!

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