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Karma Finally Ready to Deliver 1st Revero Plug-in

Reborn Fisker debuts with first-ever TV spot.

by on May.03, 2017

The first Karma Revero plug-ins will be delivered to buyers in California and Florida this month.

Better late than never, it seems, for the Karma Revero.

The reborn version of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan is finally being delivered to its first customers this month after an unexpected delay. And Karma Automotive, which bought the assets of Fisker out of bankruptcy, is marking the rebirth with the car’s first-ever television commercial.

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“The spot marks the rebirth of one of the most honored silhouettes in automotive history,” said Karma Chief Revenue Officer Jim Taylor, of the ad that aired on CBS during the U.S. Open Polo Championship. “We felt this moment in time deserved to be recognized.”

The original version of the plug-in hybrid did, indeed, receive numerous kudos when it made its debut five years ago. But Fisker Automotive quickly ran into problems. There were technical issues, including a series of recalls. There were production delays. And then, the battery packs on a number of Karmas being stored at the port outside New York City caught fire when the vehicles were inundated by flooding during Superstorm Sandy.

The Revero gets an upgraded battery pack and a new, Level 3 fast charger.

Ultimately, Fisker went broke and China’s Wanxiang Group won a 2013 auction for the remaining assets of the California-based maker for $149.2 million. Confusing matters a bit, the new owners decided to rebrand the company – which remains based near Los Angeles – Karma, and the car itself will now carry the Revero nameplate.

(Click Here for a review of the new Karma Revero.)

The good news is that it retains the same, timeless exterior styling, with only a few welcome tweaks, most notably some subtle changes to the familiar “moustache” grille and the diamond-shaped front air intakes.

There’s also some new technology, no surprise, considering how much has happened on that front since the original Karma sport sedan made its debut. That includes a new high-definition gauge cluster and a new touchscreen. There will be onboard 4G LTE WiFi, and Apple CarPlay is coming, though apparently not on Day One.

As for the drivetrain, the lithium-ion batteries for the plug-in have been upgraded to 21.4 kilowatt-hour capacity, one kWh more than before. That boosts EV-mode range to 50 miles. Meanwhile, the Revero shaves a full second off the old Karma’s 0 to 60 launch, now 5.4 seconds. Unfortunately, mileage is expected to remain the same. In normal hybrid mode, expect 20 City, 21 Highway and 20 Combined once EPA certification is completed.

There has been plenty of talk about major upgrades, and Chief Revenue Officer Taylor told that changes are in the works. What he wouldn’t confirm is that Karma hopes to eventually replace its original, GM-sourced range extender engine with a package it will get from BMW. The German automaker is already providing Karma with some key components, including its updated electrical architecture.

The most notable visual changes include a revised grille and diamond-shaped air intakes.

(GM exec predicts company will be first to turn a profit on its EVs. Click Here for more.)

Karma has added new DC fast-charging, or Level III, capabilities that should allow Revero to get an 80% fill-up in under a half-hour. And the onboard charger’s capacity has been doubled, from 3.3 kW to 6.6 kW.

The Karma Revero will now go for $130,000, about 25% more than the original Fisker Karma, though it will offer more standard equipment.

The company had hoped to start deliveries a month or two ago. It will now hand the keys to buyers in California and Florida this month. During the brief time the original version was available, Fisker claimed to have sold about 2,000. As Karma, the target is now about 900 a year.

(Henrik Fisker wants back in. Click Here for word on the new car company he hopes to launch.)

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One Response to “Karma Finally Ready to Deliver 1st Revero Plug-in”

  1. veh says:

    sure they didn’t mean 200 instead of 2000?