Hybrid technology and battery capacity have seen incredible advances since 2012. Realizing the need for a gas-electric luxury sedan, China’s Wanxiang Group has a new version of the Karma. What once was the Fisker Karma is now the Revero by Karma Automotive. The new car was the centerpiece of our display at this year’s Baltimore Auto Show, and I was able to put a few miles on it after the show was over. We also have an original example in our inventory, so it was nice to see how much has changed.
Going back to the drawing board, Karma has addressed all the issues that frustrated journalists and Fisker owners. The styling is familiar, but the body panel gaps are much tighter. Wheels remain 21″ in staggered width with a contemporary design. Once you are inside, you are greeted by new door panels and a nicer grain of leather. Interior lighting is now LED and the touch screen interface is all new. Control screens for audio and climate are now logical and responsive, a far cry from its predecessor.
Under the hood lies the same Chevrolet 2.0 liter turbo four which is bolted to a giant alternator. Taking the place of a transmission, it is rated a6 6.6 kWh of charging which is doubled from the previous model. To achieve 50 miles of electric cruising, a new battery is rated at 21.4, an improvement of one kilowatt. To take advantage of high voltage charging stations, the inverter is now capable of DC charging, Mr. Edison would approve. We have spent some time on the configurator to learn that the choices for interior and exterior colors offer something for everyone. The base price of $130,000 is a bargain for what you receive.
I recently had the chance to drive a Karma Revero. Cruising around Baltimore’s inner harbor in the new hybrid, Sport Mode was much more lively. When you need full power, the gas engine is much less noticeable thanks to new exhaust and revised motor mounts. Power steering has been dialed back to give the driver more feedback, and the new door panels have much more insulation. I wasn’t able to put a dent into the electric range because it was fully charged, so I skipped charging mode to avoid regenerative braking. The six-piston Brembo calipers are worthy of their brand name.
Karma has spent two years and a small fortune getting things right, so a fully loaded price around $139,000 isn’t too much to ask if you are looking for a new sedan.