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Deja vu for Karma’s Revero

Karma chameleon: Karma Automotive is reportedly planning to build 900 Reveros in the first year of production.

Reborn plug-in hybrid Karma Revero revealed online ahead of production kick-off


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15 Aug 2016

THE rebirth of the Tesla Model S-rivalling Fisker Karma is all but complete with the online reveal of the refreshed four-door coupe, that will be sold under its new Chinese-backed operation, Karma Automotive.

As expected the model, now dubbed Revero, is essentially an overhauled version of the Fisker Karma that was produced from 2011-2012 in Finland until financial trouble forced the company to shut down production in late-2012 before filing for bankruptcy in late-2013.

Some of Fisker’s assets were sold in mid-2014 to Chinese company Wanxiang, which is owned by billionaire Lu Guanqiu, who said at the time that he would put “every cent that Wanxiang earns” into making EVs.

“I’ll burn as much cash as it takes to succeed, or until Wanxiang goes bust,” he said in 2014.

The 2016 Revero carries the same sleek lines penned for the original Karma by Henrik Fisker, who was also responsible for the design of the iconic Aston Martin DB9.

The car-maker has not yet revealed full specifications for the Revero – a countdown clock on the Karma website points to a date around September 8 for a full reveal – but it will have a solar roof that will create enough energy to power the car, according to the company.

“No other vehicle sold in the US has ever offered this capability. Our owners consider our solar roof an important element in our brand identity, and we listened,” Karma says on its website.

A new “simple, intuitive and beautiful” infotainment system will also be offered in the Revero.

Karma also says that the badges on each Revero are individually hand-painted – a first for a car-maker according to the company.

It is unclear how much the powertrain has changed, but it is expected to remain a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid as opposed to the Tesla, which is a full electric vehicle. Under the skin of the old model was a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit matched with a pair of 120kW motors.

Previously electric-only driving range was limited to 53km from the 370km-range lithium-ion battery, but the new version will reportedly travel up to 80km on electric power.

The Revero will be built at Karma Automotive’s Moreno Valley, California facility and the company plans to build 900 examples in its first year of production.

In the United States there will be 10 dealerships initially, but there is no word on right-hand drive production or if there are plans to export the Revero to other countries, including Australia. Karma Automotive has been contacted for comment.

Pricing will reportedly be more than the old Fisker Karma, with pundits putting it at about $US115,000 ($A150,350).

Aside from the Tesla Model S, other potential rivals for the Karma Revero include the Porsche Panamera plug-in hybrid and the forthcoming EV based on the Mission E concept. The plug-in BMW 330e and Mercedes’ forthcoming electrified E-Class could also be in the Revero’s crosshairs.

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