News / Utah / 

Future of luxury hybrids debuts in Utah

By John Daley | Posted - Jun. 21, 2010 at 6:27 p.m.


18 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Car lovers in Utah got their first glimpse of a vehicle that's creating a buzz in the automotive world.

The makers hope it catches on for being both cool and "green."

It's cleverly called the Karma.

At a dealership in Centerville Monday afternoon, people kept streaming in check it out.

"This looks quite futuristic," said car enthusiast Bowen Humphreys.

"I've been reading about it so I want to see it in person the day it's here," said Chris Torek.

Obviously, it's a high-end machine.

"The guy who designed this designed the DB9, the Astin Martin, the James Bond car," Torek said. "This looks like a James Bond car."

Apparently in 2010, James Bond drives a hybrid, complete with solar panels on the roof and eco-friendly reclaimed wood interior.

The Fisker Karma is being marketed as the world's first luxury plug-in electric vehicle.

What is... the Fisker Karma?
The Karma by Fisker Automotive is the world's first luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Cost: $87,000. It can go 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. It is also all-wheel drive. A fully-charged Karma burns no fuel for the first 50 miles, using just the lithium ion battery. Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the car operates as a normal hybrid vehicle using a gas engine to turn a generator to charge the battery. This balance creates an average fuel economy of 100 mpg per year. -Fisker Automotive

Sharif Hadley with Hadley Auto Company said, "The market is changing, and things like this are exciting and creating a lot of buzz and excitement."

With 400-plus horsepower, it can reach 60 mph in six seconds. It has a top speed of 125 miles per hour and it can travel 50 miles on battery power alone.

At $90,000, the cost of the Karma puts it out of most people's price range. But increasingly, this technology is catching on in the automobile industry.

"I don't think it's going to be the lion's share or the majority share of the market," Hadley said. "I think there's a small segment out there that will continue to grow."

"It's kind of hard to predict, but it'll be interesting to see whether electric cars become more prevalent or if it's hydrogen or if it's some other bio-fuel that can come out," Humphreys said.

So, is the Karma ready for a test drive?

No.

"The one that's on tour now you're not allowed to drive," Torek said. "Why is that? Because they've only got the one. They don't want anybody wrecking it."

Besides, that hasn't stopped the company from taking thousands of orders for the car.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com

Photos

Related Links

John Daley

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast