Good Karma: The Volt of Sports Cars Returns Quicker and Greener

Karma Revero

Karma Revero is the original Fisker flagship plug-in hybrid sedan reborn | Karma Automotive

There was never much argument about the Fisker Karma’s style. As for the sport hybrid’s performance, mechanical issues, infotainment, or solvency of the company building it, that was a whole other story. So there is good news for those who loved the concept but wished it was executed better. Reborn as Karma Revero, the new model features 65% more electric range, a better zero-to-60 time, and even a solar roof. Meanwhile, the company behind Revero seems capable of making it work.

When Karma Automotive unveiled the Revero after Labor Day, there were a few specs that were sure to jump out at fans of luxury performance sedans. The first was the big upgrade in electric drive range. From 33 miles in the original Fisker to a quoted 50 miles, it enters the elite class of plug-in hybrids that top the half-century mark. Likewise, the time it takes to hit 60 miles per hour dropped from over six seconds to 5.4 seconds. A maximum 403 horses are available.

Karma Revero in red

Revero no features DC fast-charging and doubled its onboard charger capacity to 6.6 kW | Karma Automotive

The charging situation has improved drastically as well. From its 3.3 kW onboard charger to the standard 6.6 kW, drivers will be able to get considerable range back on Level 2 plugs. DC fast-charging at 40 kW is another new feature, separating Revero from, say, the Chevrolet Volt that delivers 53 miles of range but cannot juice up at high speeds. Total range sits at 300 miles.

Of course, the base price of $130,000 put Revero way out of the class of the Volt or even the BMW i3 REX, which features 72 miles of electric range before switching to gasoline power for another 78 miles (150 total). This price point is where cars like the Tesla Model S P100D and BMW i8 play.

Karma Revero

Karma Revero’s base price of $130,000 makes it an especially pricey proposition | Karma Automotive

BMW i8 is a close comp in the price ($140,700) department, but the sleek plug-in verges more toward supercar with its zero-to-60 time of 4.2 seconds. The i8 also tops the Revero with its 76 miles per gallon equivalent. (Like the old Fisker, the new Karma is expected to be near 54 miles per gallon.) Yet the i8 lags way behind with its 15 miles of electric range in ideal conditions.

Tesla Model S P100D in all its ludicrous glory runs folks $134,500, so we have another price comp there. P100D’s obvious advantages are in quickness (2.5 seconds to 60, the top current mark) and range (315 miles). Without using a drop of gasoline, this new Model S can cover more ground than the Karma Revero, and that’s saying something in this day and age.

Revero’s unique advantage comes from its ability to straddle the line between EV and hybrid. You can go much further in this Karma than you can in an i8, and you’ll never have to charge up if you want to keep driving, though this is less of a factor in the P100D. Then there is that solar roof that can get you a few miles of emissions-free driving. Grasping at straws or not, no other car on the road can pull off that trick.

Source: Karma Automotive

Check out Autos Cheat Sheet on Facebook
Connect with Eric on Twitter @EricSchaalNY

More from Autos Cheat Sheet: