Automotive

Karma looks forward with 3-cylinder sports hybrid Revero GT and concept cars

Karma looks forward with 3-cyl...
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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Pininfarina shows what a two-door Karma Revero with Italian flair looks like
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Pininfarina shows what a two-door Karma Revero with Italian flair looks like
Pininfarina's most intensive work came with the GT two-door's sides, which feature a slender hourglass figure with smoother, softer surfaces and lines
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Pininfarina's most intensive work came with the GT two-door's sides, which feature a slender hourglass figure with smoother, softer surfaces and lines
We like Pininfarina's lower, stronger split grille over the original Fisker Karma/Karma Revero grille
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We like Pininfarina's lower, stronger split grille over the original Fisker Karma/Karma Revero grille
The production Revero GT gets some new surface treatments, front to back
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The production Revero GT gets some new surface treatments, front to back
Karma GT designed by Pininfarina
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Karma GT designed by Pininfarina
As Pininfarina has done with other concept cars, it will gauge reaction and build a limited number of custom-built models should it receive enough interest
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As Pininfarina has done with other concept cars, it will gauge reaction and build a limited number of custom-built models should it receive enough interest
The new Revero GT retains the artistic hood ornament
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The new Revero GT retains the artistic hood ornament
With its 535-hp dual-motor powertrain, the Revero GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
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With its 535-hp dual-motor powertrain, the Revero GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
The SC1 Vision Concept is the most visually arresting of the Karma Big Three, featuring a low-riding open-air design that almost certainly looks like it's still rushing forward at red-light standstill
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The SC1 Vision Concept is the most visually arresting of the Karma Big Three, featuring a low-riding open-air design that almost certainly looks like it's still rushing forward at red-light standstill
Large butterfly doors add some extra drama to the SC1 design
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Large butterfly doors add some extra drama to the SC1 design
The SC1 is a more forward-looking concept showing what a tech-packed electric Karma of the future might look like
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The SC1 is a more forward-looking concept showing what a tech-packed electric Karma of the future might look like
Karma plans to launch the new Revero GT later this year as a 2020 model
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Karma plans to launch the new Revero GT later this year as a 2020 model
The look of an electric car that's ready to put its immediate torque to use in firing forward like a flash of light
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The look of an electric car that's ready to put its immediate torque to use in firing forward like a flash of light
The SC1 concept interior features plenty of digital display and HUD space, along with unique materials
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The SC1 concept interior features plenty of digital display and HUD space, along with unique materials
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The SC1 Vision Concept highlights some next-generation design language for Karma
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The SC1 Vision Concept highlights some next-generation design language for Karma
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
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The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
Karma Revero GT at Auto Shanghai 2019
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Karma Revero GT at Auto Shanghai 2019
Karma GT by Pininfarina at Auto Shanghai 2019
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Karma GT by Pininfarina at Auto Shanghai 2019
Karma GT by Pininfarina at Auto Shanghai 2019
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Karma GT by Pininfarina at Auto Shanghai 2019
2020 Karma Revero GT
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2020 Karma Revero GT
A look at the bright interior of the Karma GT by Pininfarina
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A look at the bright interior of the Karma GT by Pininfarina
Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
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Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
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Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
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Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina
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Inside the Karma GT by Pininfarina

Karma Automotive, the company formerly known as Fisker, ushers in a "new dawn" with a slate of products that define its immediate and long-term future. A fully refreshed, BMW-engined Revero sports hybrid with more power and range, a Pininfarina-sculpted Revero coupe, and a high-tech all-electric roadster concept all make their debuts at Auto Shanghai 2019. The cars show where Karma stands today and where it's moving in the near and distant future.

Karma was brought to life in 2014 after China-headquartered Wanxiang Group acquired the Karma car design and other Fisker Automotive assets, but the young company has yet to branch out into the Chinese market. So it's making some extra noise in Shanghai by debuting not only the new Revero but also two forward-looking concepts.

"This is the first major auto presence for Karma in China and marks a significant moment by ushering in a new era for the company," explains Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. "Today, Karma is ready to move forward with bold steps, a chapter we call our New Dawn."

Karma Revero GT at Auto Shanghai 2019
Karma Revero GT at Auto Shanghai 2019

The dawn of that bold karmic era casts first light on the 2020 Revero GT, which goes on sale later this year. In its latest incarnation, the Revero finally leaves behind the weird gapped-mustache grille dating back to the original Fisker Karma, gaining an all-new front-end with an airy, slashed-up bumper and a solid, non-slatted upper grille area similar to a modern electric car.

Moving back, the new Revero GT maintains a lithe silhouette with long, flowing hood and swept-back cabin. The subtly bowed-in flanks have been injected with smoother, more voluminous styling as compared to the flatter, more sharply marked design of old, while the bumpers have taken the opposite turn, gaining more creases and angles.

2020 Karma Revero GT
2020 Karma Revero GT

More than just a cosmetic makeover, the 2020 Revero GT also benefits from a powertrain upgrade with dual rear electric motors that team for 535 hp and 550 lb-ft. A lithium-ion battery pack keeps those motors turning for up to 80 miles (129 km) of zero emissions driving, a significant boost over the Revero's 50 miles (80 km). Regenerative braking helps keep the batteries firing before it becomes necessary for the BMW turbo three-cylinder engine-generator to kick in and extend total range out to 360 miles (579 km).

The Revero GT scoots from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, relying on a variable-ratio steering system and carefully tuned suspension to keep performance as convincing through the twists as it is on the straightaways. A full driver-assistance suite comprises features like lane keeping, emergency auto braking and active cruise control.

With its 535-hp dual-motor powertrain, the Revero GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
With its 535-hp dual-motor powertrain, the Revero GT can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds

The Karma/Revero has always been among the sportier sedans out there, but the time has come for Karma to explore a proper two-door. The company teamed with Pininfarina on the effort, giving the design house creative freedom in crafting a 2 + 2 rendition of the new Revero GT, something they not-so-succinctly call the "Karma GT designed by Pininfarina."

Pininfarina's most intensive work came with the GT two-door's sides, which feature a slender hourglass figure with smoother, softer surfaces and lines
Pininfarina's most intensive work came with the GT two-door's sides, which feature a slender hourglass figure with smoother, softer surfaces and lines

Pininfarina stripped a Revero GT right down to the aluminum frame, injecting a little Italian flair into the new two-door body build. It built the new shapely flanks from scratch, softening them up with a cleaner, more fluid design that hides the door handles away with flush mountings. It also spent some time up front, sculpting out a new facial expression centered around a neatly creased hood. The eyes are squeezed and thinned to a degree that would make Fisker himself proud, and the grille stands as a more cohesive, successful take on the original split grille.

Pininfarina's work extends inside, where white and off-white leathers brighten things around the digital displays and front-to-rear center console. Interior surfaces gain form and definition with burgundy piping and multi-tone stitching, and nubuck leather and satin aluminum trims add a luxurious feel.

A look at the bright interior of the Karma GT by Pininfarina
A look at the bright interior of the Karma GT by Pininfarina

The Karma GT by Pininfarina doesn't have as sure a future as the Revero GT, but Pininfarina is open to a limited production run should the concept inspire enough genuine interest. If that occurs, buyers will be invited to Pininfarina's workshop outside Turin, where they'll work closely with the Pininfarina folks to ensure the car fits like a "tailored suit." For its part, Karma will incorporate select aspects of the concept design into future products.

Sedan, coupe ... feels like it's time for a proper roadster. With the open-air SC1 Vision Concept, Karma jumps farther ahead into the future. The projectile-like roadster previews next-gen design language and introduces the idea of an all-electric Karma. Stylistically the car is defined by some familiar concept car ingredients: a rear-slung body that looks chiseled from a single block, a frameless mini-windscreen that rises only about as high as the headrests, and headlights that look like they were sliced into the hood with a scalpel.

The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept at Auto Shanghai 2019

The SC1 is more than just a flashy creative exercise, previewing how Karma will harness the latest technologies to push its designs forward. Most notably, the car moves beyond the plug-in hybrid power that has defined "Karma" since the Fisker days and into the pure-electric realm. It should prove a particularly natural evolution for a company that's always been rooted in electrified engineering, with battery technology progressing toward the point it can meet or exceed the Revero's 360-mile range without the need for a gas range-extender.

Karma loads the SC1 with plenty of buzzy tech terms like 5G connectivity, eye-tracking technology, biometric identification, ultrasonic sensors and augmented reality. It also mentions crafting the interior from never-before-used materials like chopped carbon fiber flakes — and it makes sure to shine blue accent lighting on some of the ingenuity.

The SC1 concept interior features plenty of digital display and HUD space, along with unique materials
The SC1 concept interior features plenty of digital display and HUD space, along with unique materials

"Taken together, our Shanghai Big Three show what Karma is today, what Karma can be tomorrow, and where Karma is heading in the future," Zhou sums up.

The trio of Shanghai show cars also signals Karma's global intentions. Since its founding in 2014, the company has focused on the US market, but it is now preparing to step onto the world stage.

"Karma will be live in Europe and the Middle East next year, and then Asia," says Zhou. "We will be in China by 2021. By gradually expanding our presence this way, I am confident our company, and our products, will be well prepared for the discerning Chinese luxury buyer of the future."

To help facilitate that growth and expansion, Karma will seek out strategic partnerships, just as it's done with Pininfarina.

Source: Karma Automotive

5 comments
highlandboy
Typical vapor-ware claims on performance and distance from a non-production model. Concepts are just that - concepts. Indicators of directions that may or may not go anywhere near production. Purely exercises in design and exploration of possibility.
Fletcher
No mention of the US release, interesting. I hope Henrik Fisker isn't involved with Wanxiang Group (descent designer poor executive). The guy screwed the largest producer of electric automotive battery systems in the world then expected to produce an electric car good idea. He also made his money designing cars for automotive companies then thinks starting his own auto company, thereby becoming their competition, that they will continue to use him to design their cars. Not the brightest bulb in the box. Wanxiang should have just built its own brand around another designer and saved themselves the trouble.
Martin Hone
So how does "chopped carbon fibre" work ?
TomLeeM
I like the idea of doing more with less. I think more isn't always better. I wonder if it could use the rotary engine from Liquid Piston? It seems to be able to run on a variety of fuels.
Leonard Foster Jr
Fisher has nothing to do with Karma, and we build these cars in Socal