Fisker doesn’t like small gestures. Not only did his stand at the Detroit Auto Show have the highest density of “spokesmodels” short of Lamborghini, but he evidently didn’t feel his super-sleek Karma plug-in hybrid made enough of a splash. So he unveiled a second version of the car, the retractable hardtop convertible Karma S (pictured below).
The Fisker car is a bit schizophrenic. It’s an almost $88,000 luxury/performance car that can reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, but it has some distinctly eco touches, including a solar panel mounted on the roof and “reclaimed” wood in the dashboard. “It is for the buyer with a bit of a conscience who appreciates performance,” Fisker told me. Battery-only range is an impressive 50 miles.
Fisker doesn’t seem worried that his car, which will launch at the end of this year, is entering a severely constrained luxury market. Some 1,030 people have put down deposits, he said. He’s signed up 22 dealers and is aiming for 40.
There’s no love between Fisker and its closest competitor, Tesla Motors, which sells a $109,000 battery-only roadster based on a Lotus design, and a dispute between them ended up in court. But there’s probably room for two high-concept green carmakers.
Jim's other posts from the Detroit Auto Show:
- Dispatches from the Motor City
- Detroit's auto show is crowded, noisy ... and green
- Video interview with Ford's Lisa Drake