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First Drive: 2012 Fisker Karma

Will motorists plug into the battery sports car?

by on Feb.15, 2012

Late to market, Fisker is finally rolling out the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car.

If you want to go green expect to pay a significant penalty in terms of range, performance and price – or so goes the conventional wisdom.  But when former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker set out to develop the eponymous Fisker Karma, nearly four years ago, he was determined to bring a high-styled, high-performance sports car to market “that would require no trade-offs.”

After a series of setbacks and delays, the first of his plug-in hybrids are beginning to roll into showrooms in the U.S. and Europe and production is steadily ramping up, the Finnish factory now turning out as many as 25 Karma sports cars a day.  So we jumped at an offer to take one of the first of the 4-door plug-ins for a spin around Los Angeles, this week.


One thing is certain: Henrik Fisker hasn’t lost his touch as a designer.  The new Karma is as pleasant to look at, and just as sexy, as one of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models. It’s sleek and modern, with a shape that seems to be in motion even when parked.  During nearly 100 miles of driving we received frequent thumbs up from motorists pulling up alongside in everything from a beat-up Ford F-150 to a well-heeled Aston DB9 – ironically one of Fisker’s earlier projects.