Following a series of funding setbacks that has seen the launch of Fisker Automotive's Karma four-door saloon plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sports car pushed back from the initial late 2009 launch date a number of times, there's finally some good news. According to Gigaom, the company has surpassed its US$1 billion funding goal and plans to have vehicles in dealer showrooms in May or June and will begin fulfilling its 3,000-some pre-orders from June or July.
The funding comes courtesy of backing from investors including venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, battery manufacturer A123 Systems – which also supplies battery systems to Chrysler – and Fisker Automotive securing a load award totaling 528.7 million from the Department of Energy for green car manufacturing.
The extended-range Karma was first revealed to the public at the 2008 NAIAS in Detroit with a projected US$80,000 price tag. That has now increased to $95,900, with the car also going from the originally predicted 2,086 kg (4,599 lb) to around 2,495 kg (5,500 lb).
But despite the weight increase, little else, including the performance figures, has changed. Fisker is still touting a sub-six second 0-60 mph and top speed of 125 mph for the Karma in a Sport Mode that combines power from the vehicle's electric and internal combustion engine, as well as a range of 50 miles (80 km) in electric mode.
The car draws on the design and engineering expertise of people responsible for vehicles such as the Rolls Royce Phantom, Ford GT and BMW 5-Series, not to mention that Henrik Fisker is the man behind the Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage and BMW Z8.