Fisker’s Karma gets reincarnated

Discussion in 'American Cars' started by CitroenSM, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Quote from wired.com;

    Zombie Fisker Lives On With Chinese Owners, Gas-Guzzling Engines

    By Damon Lavrinc
    02.19.14
    4:03 PM

    Fisker Automotive is back from the brink, and its new owners intend to raise the automaker from the ashes. And throw in a non-hybrid, 640 horsepower V8 model to boot.

    A U.S. bankruptcy court has given China’s largest auto parts supplier its blessing to the buy the remnants of a company that crashed and burned spectacularly in 2012. Wanxiang Group promises to revive Fisker and offer an updated version of the gorgeous Karma plug-in hybrid alongside Bob Lutz’s utterly bonkers V8-powered model called the Destino, according to Reuters.

    “We conducted a highly spirited auction resulting in an increase in value of approximately $90 million as compared to the opening bid of the auction,” said Marc Beilinson, Fisker Automotive’s Chief Restructuring Officer in a release. “This is a great result for all Fisker stakeholders.”

    Wanxiang really, really wanted to buy Fisker. It bid $149.2 million — $129.2 million in cash, with $8 million in liabilities, plus equity — during a 19-round bidding war with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li of Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC. Wanxiang had a vested interest in saving Fisker, because it already spent $257 million buying A123 Systems, which built the battery packs Fisker Automotive put in the Karma before A123 went belly-up. Wanxiang has since relaunched A123, and clearly wants a flagship product for its batteries.

    Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 by automotive designer Henrik Fisker, most famous for styling the BMW Z8, some work with Aston Martin, and the initial styling of the Tesla Model S. The company was long on hype, and the car promised the luxury of a Mercedes with the plug-in hybrid efficiency of a Prius. The idea was to make efficiency sexy — and, with a list price of $100,000, expensive — for green-minded owners unimpressed with the current crop of fuel efficient rides.

    The Karma generated tremendous hype and a long line of celebrity customers, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber, but had problems from the start. It was beset by production delays that pushed its release from 2010 to 2011. Once cars started rolling off the line, a spate of fires prompted three recalls in nine months beginning in late 2011. Fisker stopped building cars in late 2012, and by that point had drawn down just $192 million of the $529 million loan it had secured from the Department of Energy before Uncle Sam closed his wallet.

    No amount of managing shuffling could save the company, and Fisker filed for bankruptcy in November. The company agreed sell its assets to Hybrid Tech Holdings for $25 million, but creditors said the price was too low. That brought Wanxiang into the fold, prompting a bidding war that ended Tuesday. Should the feds approve the deal, Wanxiang will get Fisker’s limited IP and the shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware, where Fisker planned to build the Atlantic, a plug-in hybrid along the lines of a BMW 3-Series.

    Wanxiang’s plans for Fisker haven’t been entirely disclosed. We know the company wants to bring back the Karma and perhaps even the Atlantic. It’d be easy to discount this as a pipe dream, but Wanxiang has automotive demigod Bob Lutz in its corner. Lutz knows a thing or 12 about the auto biz, having held positions of power at GM, BMW and Chrysler during a career that’s spanned 30 years. He’s the guy behind a score of vehicles, including the Dodge Viper, Cadillac CTS Coupe, reborn Camaro, and Chevrolet Volt.

    Lutz, who isn’t shy about building utterly awesome, completely insane cars people wants to drive, is one-half of VL Automotive, which rolled into the Detroit Auto Show a couple of years ago with Fisker Karma stuffed with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 pulled from a Corvette ZR-1. VL hopes to begin producing the car, which will go for $180,000.

    “It’s certainly not for everyone,” Lutz said of the cars in an op-ed he wrote for Forbes last year. “And not just because of price: Some ‘greenies’ are already hyperventilating on blogs over the obscenity of converting an ‘earth-friendly’ electric car to gas. What they don’t realize is that their fanatical all-organic-tofu enthusiasm isn’t shared by the bulk of the luxury-car buying public.”

    That may be true, but any reason to see more achingly gorgeous Karmas on the road is okay with us. And here’s hoping Bob, or Wanxiang, finally build the Sunset convertible that Fisker teased us with.
     
  2. just let it die.
     
  3. could be bad karma
     
  4.  
  5. haha +1
     
  6. I really like theblooks of the karma. When you see it IRL, it looks like a car from the future.
     
  7. i love the karma. such an awesome car irl. especially the sound. it sounds like a tie fighter from star wars.
     
  8. nah man. car from the future:
     
  9. Yeah the technology from the beemer is better, but the Karma looks way better. Aside from shitty panel gaps and poor build quality, the karma is a good looking car.

    The tesla has completely owned them though, better car in every way (apart from range). Still good looking too (perhaps not quite as much as the karma).
     
  10. I wouldn't be happy with a car as expensive as the Karma having shitty panel gaps and poor build quality.
     
  11. I've only seen one on the street and it was getting a ticket at the time.
     
  12. First time seeing a Karma was 2 years ago in Scottsdale, AZ. It does look very cool in real life. I saw a F430 and a SLS on the same day in Scottsdale, and the Karma has more presense irl than both of these high end sportscars.
     
  13. Have you seen an Enzo Ferrari?
     
  14. I've seen several. All the panels fit just fine as far as I remember.


    Even if the enzo was tied together with twine I'd still much prefer it to the Karma.
     
  15. this.


    when i saw concept photos, I thought they were mental saying that it would look exactly as is.


    I think it's one of the greatest designs of the past while and if they Telsa S would look like that, I would be head over heels.


    Park it next to a Panamera or something and it looks like, 10 production years ahead.
     
  16. A Karma with a mopar V10 would be one of the greatest cars. Supercharged V8 will have to do.
     
  17. Having seen the i8 in person, I'm even more impressed with it. It looks one of those concept cars that never make production, or end up getting really toned down before they do, but it did. To me it looks more futuristic than any of the million dollar supercars.
     

Share This Page