A distinctive plug-in hybrid sedan, the Fisker Karma was an early entrant in the electrified premium car category. Designed by Henrik Fisker (a former design director for Aston Martin and involved early in the Tesla Model S design process), the Karma was publicly released for 2012 after a nearly three-year delay. Operating on a Q-drive hybrid drivetrain, the 2012 Karma’s electric propulsion was supplied by two 120-kilowatt motors fed by a 20.1 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The Fisker Karma could roll up to 32 miles on only electric power.
When battery power is exhausted, the Karma operates on a General Motors-sourced four-cylinder gasoline engine. A turbocharged Ecotec 2.0-liter operates as a generator and range-extender for the Fisker Karma. Combined horsepower for the 2012 Karma was rated at 403 horsepower capable of launching the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in roughly six seconds. Using electric and gasoline, overall vehicle range for the 2012 Karma was assessed at 230 miles. Besides the powertrain, the Fisker Karma utilized a number of other environmentally friendly traits. The vehicle was painted with a water-based paint while the glass used was said to be up to 55 percent recycled. A solar-powered roof was incorporated on the Fisker Karma as standard providing auxiliary power for the climate control system. Inside, the four-passenger cabin space featured rescued wood trim and low-carbon leather sourced from farms accredited for humane treatment of animals. Despite bold ambitions, the independent carmaker encountered numerous setbacks that included bankruptcy for its battery pack supplier and the loss of 338 Fisker Karmas because of Hurricane Sandy. Production of the Karma ended in mid-2012 while Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy in November 2013. Approximately 1,800 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrids were sold.