Hollywood’s highest-paid actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has taken delivery of his new hi-tech hybrid 2012 Fisker Karma.
DiCaprio, a long-term environmental activist who earned $77 million last year, has ditched his Toyota Prius hybrid in favour of the Fisker hybrid – edging aside Al Gore and Colin Powell, who are apparently still green (only, at the moment, with envy) and still on the waiting list.
Above: Leo DiCaprio spent one-eighth of one per cent of last year’s income on his green new toy
Although the Irvine California-based Fisker factory plans to manufacture 300 Karmas a week once production ramps up, only a handful of Karmas is currently available, making the Karma one of the rarest performance hybrids on the planet – at least for the time being.
The Karma, which retails for US$100,000, didn’t really make much of a dent in Mr DiCaprio’s bank balance, and it’s not nearly the speediest conveyance the Inception star could afford, but it’s arguably the most exclusive green supercar on the block. It travels 80km in ‘stealth’ mode (EV only) – and will run up to 200km/h without burning any petrol. In this mode the only noise it makes (apart from the wind and a little electric motor whine from the two onboard motors) is the car-like sound effect broadcast through a speaker in the rear bumper. This stops the vehicle being silent but deadly – especially for the blind.
Using the onboard internal combustion engine (‘sport’ mode, in Fisker-speak) adds real car noise – and 400km to the Karma’s range. It also removes any sense of ‘range anxiety’, which is not something many A-listers would tolerate.
The Karma will hit 100km/h in 5.9 seconds in sport mode. Using stealth mode adds a couple of seconds to the process – but still kicks the Prius’s RS.
So, if you’re Big Leo, ‘stealth’ mode will be good for avoiding the paparazzi, while ‘sport’ will be better at escaping them.
Above: Not-so-safe refuelling the now-sidelined Prius
Surely if you’re the Hollywood’s most heavily remunerated green activist, who made $77 million last year, you’d stick with the Karma … but only as a stopgap until the world’s most expensive hybrid goes on sale? Note to Mr DiCaprio: Son, that would be the Porsche 918 Spyder – the first post-GFC supercar – which retails in the USA for about US$850,000, but won’t be delivered until November 2013. Still, owning the Karma in the meantime means not fronting up on the red carpet any more in your Prius…
Above: Meanest green car on the block – the 918 Spyder