Fisker Karma: 50% Grand Theft Auto, 50% Poseur DeLuxe
Color me unimpressed.
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My first look at the nose grille and formal arrangement of the new Fisker Karma stopped me cold. The immediate effect was that someone had stolen vector files from Aston Martin and had then merged them with vector files swiped from BMW – as if BMW and Aston had, after a wild night’s debauchery delivered us an unruly, dishonest bastard child. Ugggh.
That is definitely Aston Martin’s trademark noseline horizon. The central beak and vertical grillework were lifted straight from BMWs. Even the chassis itself is riffed: It belongs to Jaguar’s Model R.
From the fifth paragraph near the top – my eyes rolled up:
What’s New: Henrik Fisker, an automotive designer behind the gorgeous BMW Z8 and several Aston Martins, formed his own automobile company four years ago. The Karma is the new company’s first car, a series plug-in hybrid. A pair of electric motors straddle the rear axle and provide the power. The lithium-ion battery pack is located in the center tunnel and stores 20 kilowatt-hours of energy and is good for about 50 miles of gasoline-free driving.
50 miles of gasoline free driving! Zero to Sixty in under Eight seconds! Wow…?
Bad as that is, Henrik Fisker’s worst crime is his blithe indifference to the Customer. People who buy luxury vehicles are not in the market to assuage their guilt complexes nor are they so self-deprecating as to scream to the world “Gee, look at Me! I got suckered by global warming!“ Luxury buyers are making investments in power; in ego.
It’s not as if history isn’t rife with exemplary lessons. Buyers stayed away, for example, from John DeLorean’s DMC-12, an underpowered 6-cylinder goose. Fisker has not recognized John DeLorean’s failure to understand the customers’ need to express power: In a word, testosterone.
Gushes Popular Mechanics:
Bottom Line: The Fisker Karma is a standout luxury and performance vehicle, period. It does double duty as head-turning grand touring machine and fuel-sipping hybrid, making it the first vehicle of its kind…
It likely won’t be the last. One bitter lesson of history is that few study history.
“Karma,” you say? Inspired by a sad hoax; executed by stealth; launched off-target. What could possibly go wrong?
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UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds is rather more kind. (Of course. – Ed.)