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by Brett Davis

The sporty and elegant Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid is finally on sale in the US, and the EPA has given it an official fuel consumption rating of 4.5L/100km. The Fisker Karma is also capable of being driven under electric power alone for 52km.

It’s been a fairly long birth for the Fisker Karma, but it’s finally on the market in the US. Fisker has plans to ramp up production operations and plans to deliver many pre-ordered Karmas to customers throughout the rest of this year.

The Fisker Karma is powered by a 2.0-litre Ecotec turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a range-extending hybrid electric motor. In range-extending mode (where the petrol engine acts as a generator and the electric motor powers the car), the Fisker Karma has a range of around 84km. With both the electric motor and petrol engine combined in traditional hybrid mode, its overall range is around 480km. Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive, recently said,

“With receipt of EPA certification in hand, we have achieved a major milestone by recording the first sales of our groundbreaking Karma sedan. Production of the Karma is ramping, and we have a strong dealer network in place so we can deliver many more of these truly amazing automobiles to customers during the remainder of 2011 and for many years to come.”

One of the best aspects to the Karma is that customers can plug it into a wall and drive it as a regular electric vehicle. Fisker says that for an average commuter travelling around 65km every day to work, if the owner plugs it in every night, the Karma would only need to visit a petrol station every 1600km.

It may not sound especially fuel-efficient compared with other hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market, but the Fisker Karma is a big luxury sedan that is also sporty, and capable of 0-100km/h in around 5.9 seconds. Its top speed is also rated at just over 200km/h.

Fisker has no plans to produce the Karma in right-hand drive, but the company’s next model, the Fisker Project Nina, is being planned for the Australian market.




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