2017 Karma Revero: New name, familiar face
The 2017 Karma Revero may look familiar to those who recall the Fisker saga in which noted designer Henrik Fisker built and sold an eponymous plug-in hybrid luxury car before filing bankruptcy in 2013. The remaining assets were purchased by Wainxiang Group, a Chinese conglomerate that had also purchased Fisker’s battery supplier, A123.
Wainxiang has relaunched the company and is now producing cars at a new plant in Moreno Valley, California, about an hour from the firm’s new headquarters in Irvine. With a minor facelift and a revamped infotainment system, the former Fisker Karma EVer (as the model was known) is now called the Karma Revero and will be sold for $130,000.
New fascia, infotainment
Jim Taylor, Karma’s chief revenue officer and longtime GM exec who headed Cadillac and Hummer, said the company is courting the 1,000 current Fisker owners and already has received commitments from 80 to buy the refreshed car, which features a new front fascia, new paint and interior trim, as well as the upgraded infotainment system. That system, developed in-house, has new graphics, features and a faster response time than the previous unit and will also feature Apple CarPlay and later, Android Auto.
Another unique feature is the solar roof, which provides up to 200 watts of power per hour, of which 80 watts per hour can be used to replenish the battery. A quick charge option can also be used to bring the battery pack to 80-percent charge in 24 minutes.
Plug-in range of 50 miles
The basics of the Revero remain the same. It’s a plug-in hybrid capable of up to 50 miles in pure electric operation. Total system output of the two 150 kW electric motors combined with the GM-supplied 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers 403 horsepower to the rear axle. Upgrades to the motors have improved 0-60 mph acceleration to 5.4 from 6.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 125 mph. With the combination of the gas engine (which acts as a generator to supply current to the motors) and lithium ion batteries, Karma says the Revero has a total driving range of 300 miles.
While production is ramping up, Karma hasn’t announced when deliveries of the new Revero will begin. Only four of the previous 40 Fisker dealers will be handling the cars and currently the company has about a dozen outlets including three service-only facilities that will cover the U.S. and Canada.