Karma blazes ahead with 1,100-hp hyper-coupe and e-pickup teaser
For the second time this year, Karma leaps into an auto show with multiple debuts and future plan announcements. That all starts immediately at the 2019 LA Auto Show with the impressive SC2, an all-electric supercar concept with 1,100 hp on tap and a claimed 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) under 1.9 second. The company's plans extend through a new performance-spec GT launching next year and an electrified pickup truck project lurking in the shadowy future.
The SC2 evolves from the SC1` Vision Concept Karma dropped at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year. The Shanghai car was but spec-less show jewelry highlighting voluptuous curves and next-gen technologies, but the SC2 actually brings some hard numbers with it, whatever those are worth on a concept car framed as a "bold demonstration of Karma’s emergence as a high-tech mobility incubator."
Karma imagines the SC2's all-electric powertrain producing up to 1,100 hp and `10,500 lb-ft of wheel torque, unleashing a scorching 0-60 of under 1.9 second, a number it almost certainly derived after watching the recent Aspark Owl launch. The 120-kWh battery pack floating in a center tunnel between the SC2's front and rear twin motors should pack enough energy to keep the car cruising for up to 350 miles (563 km).
The SC2 definitely isn't all business, packing some concept car weirdness all its own. The standout in that category is the gaming-inspired "Drive and Play" system that captures 360-degree footage of the car, along with every millisecond of cornering, braking, acceleration, light, air temperature and audio data. When the car is shifted to park, the driver can hit replay and enjoy his or her recent work through a simulation broadcast via the onboard adaptive laser projector. A connected smartphone can even serve as rear-view, creating a driving simulator through which the driver can relive the ride and hone skills. Of course, the driver can proudly share the run with other "players."
As if an in-car gaming simulator wasn't enough extraneous tech, Karma loads the SC2 up with plenty more, including something called an "ultra sonic sensor stalk" that manages launch control and helps create a precise blend of regenerative and carbon-ceramic braking. There's also fingerprint and facial recognition, biometric seat and steering wheel adjustment, independent driver and passenger 3D audio zones, and electro-chromatic glass, not to mention the usual raft of radar, camera and LiDAR sensors supporting upgradeable autonomy.
The SC2 appears to have little future beyond showing up in different guises as a barometer of Karma's styling and preview of out-there tech, but Karma accompanies it with the debut of the more imminent Revero GTS, a performance variant of the bread-and-butter Revero GT. The GTS has a few upgrades from the base GT, including a quicker 0-60 mph sprint of "less than 3.9 seconds," down from 4.5 seconds. It also boasts electronic torque vectoring, 7.1-channel 570-watt audio and exterior carbon fiber trim. Pre-orders for the US$149,950 GTS are available now, with production to begin in Q1 2020. For reference, the GT starts at $135,000.
Further down the line, it looks like Karma will experiment within the fast-heating electrified pickup space. A shadowy teaser image of a pickup accompanies this week's announcements, and given that the image is named "Karma EREV Powertrain Conversion Tease," we can surmise that it's unrelated to the "Project e-Klipse" multi-vehicle battery electric platform Karma will launch in 2021 and instead lies at the heart of Karma's plans to demonstrate the flexibility of its extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) tech by adapting it to a proof of concept conversion.
"Extended-range powertrains represent a smart alternative to full battery systems, especially in larger vehicles used by businesses and fleets," says Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou.
Beyond that, all we know is what we can make out in the picture, which is merely that the Karma pickup swims somewhere between the cinder block styling of the Bollinger B2 and sleeker, more futuristic looks of the Rivian R1T. It looks to have a short bed, crew cab and roof-mounted solar panels, and it certainly leaves no confusion as to its "Karma" make.
The SC2 and Revero GTS debut at this week's 2019 LA Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday. We'll watch for the pickup truck to emerge somewhere down the road.
Source: Karma Automotive