Fisker e-sportster debuts on infamous Laguna Seca circuit
Behind-the-wheel footage released
Leccy Tech The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid has made its public driving debut at the annual Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races - barely a year and a half after first being unveiled as a concept.
With Fisker chairman Bernhard Koehler behind the wheel, the Karma completed a single lap of the infamous Laguna Seca race circuit in California achieving speeds of over 100mph using just its battery pack.
Fisker's Karma: 18 months ago this was a concept
Like the Chevrolet Volt, the Karma is a plug-in range-extended hybrid capable of travelling around 50 miles on the charge stored in its lithium-ion battery pack before the 260bhp 2.0l turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine kicks in to run the generator that powers the car's two 201bhp (150kW) electric motors and re-charge the battery.
Fisker reckons the car will hit 125mph at full chat and get to 60 in under six seconds.
Fisker kindly screwed a camera to the car's dash to record the lap for posterity and to let us all see Koehler enter the fearsome Turn 8 corkscrew in manner that can only be described as sedate.
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The four-door Karma saloon is due to go on sale in the US in early 2010 with a price tag of $87,900 (£53,440/€62,382). The two-door convertible 'Sunset' model will follow some six months later and cost rather more. ®
Reality check: My 8 yr old Maxima will still do 140 mph, 0-60 in under 7 sec, and seats 4 comfortably with only 225 HP, gets an honest 28 mpg highway (if I behave myself), has one of the cleanest exhausts around (CA spec), has at least another 50K miles in it and all that with a current blue-book value less than $10K. Wake me when they start selling something other than hype and an "excellent experience". If I want the latter, I'm only a 5 hr drive from Las Vegas (and 2 hrs from Hollywood) where I can find much better hype and experiences for the $75K "value" difference. And, keeping mine is much greener and kinder on the planet (considering full life-cycle cost) than scraping it and buying that, electric plug-in notwithstanding.
Ok, OK, it's a better babe-magnet, but that's about it. On second thought... :-)
Probably neither. The guy was likely told to take no chances given the value of the vehicle, and putting even an incredibly exciting street car on a race track is a recipe for boring. Even a pretty fast Porsche is dull on a quick track - which Laguna definitely is.
Hair-raising on the street is doze-inducing on a race track which is quite a bit wider than your usual 2-lane road.
Regardless, that was a truly awful marketing move - they've taken what might actually be a pretty fun car to drive on the street, and made it look like it's abjectly awful - and chosen a shot of the driver that drives the point home! Smooth...
<Quote>to let us all see Koehler enter the fearsome Turn 8 corkscrew in manner that can only be described as sedate.</Quote>
You know, you drive almost slow enough to drive Miss Daisy...