Fisker Karma Side

The Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan, and was also the subject of controversy because Tesla accused Fisker Coachbuild of not doing a good job with the work it was contracted to do with the upcoming (and postponed) Tesla Model S sports sedan. Tesla has since dropped the lawsuit.

The Karma is an extended-range plug-in electric vehicle, which means its sole method of drive is its electric motor, which can take it up to 0 to 100km/h in a rapid-enough 5.8 seconds. But it also has a combustion engine, which was just recently announced this week to be GM’s inline-4 turbocharged direct injection Ecotec engine from the Pontiac Solstice GXP that can produce 260hp.

Fisker Karma Rear

This engine’s sole purpose is to generate electricity to recharge the Karma’s batteries to extend the car’s 80km battery range. I’m not sure why such a high-powered engine is necessary for this, instead of a small displacement engine like GM’s own extended range plug-in, the Chevrolet Volt. Perhaps its because the li-ion batteries need to be recharged more rapidly because of the high power requirements of the electric motor.

“GM is proud that Fisker has selected one of the world’s best powertrains for installation into the new Karma. The advanced design of this engine offers a superior performance-to-weight ratio that makes it the right choice for the Fisker Karma,” said Tom Stephens, Executive VP of GM Powertrain & Global Quality.

Look after the jump for a gallery of the Fisker Karma.

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