April 7, 2015, 1:30 AM
With a new website proclaiming “it’s on,” it looks as though the revival of Fisker, and in particular the promising Karma and developing Atlantic, may yet see the light of day.
All the speculation started around February’s Chicago Auto Show, when Chicago-based Wangxiang America proclaimed it would be restarting Karma production some time in April 2015, and earlier reports said the car would be part of a newly formed Elux marque. Part of the Wangxiang Group, Wangxiang America first bought up lithium-ion battery maker A123 at auction in December 2012, and then Fisker Automotive in the same fashion about a year later. It has always stated its intentions to restart production of the plug-in hybrid luxury four-door coupe.
However, in March 2015, A123 stated it was concentrating on creating starter batteries for mass production (the major output of its U.S. plants in the Detroit area), rather the smaller production of battery packs for electric and plug-in vehicles (which it currently sources out of China).
All of which is leading to rampant speculation on the web that the company is planning to introduce the Elux Karma at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2015.
Cue the website (www.thenewfisker.com) and its promise of an April 2015 introduction of a silhouette that looks vaguely familiar to an overhead view of the discontinued Karma.
Karma was a four-door coupe with a powertrain very similar to the Chevrolet Volt — power came from a pair of 120 kW motors fed by a 20.1 kWh battery. Its range was extended by an onboard GM-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engine.
The car was reported to accelerate to 100 km/h in about 6.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 200 km/h. It was capable of travelling 370 km, 50 of which could be done on electric drive alone.
The Karma was the source of much controversy revolving around under-hood fires, undergoing a recall and still investigating other allegations. It also made headlines when Consumer Reports was preparing its Karma for testing and had it shut down and refuse to restart.
It is not yet known if the Karma will continue to be built at the car’s production facility in California, or whether production will shift to China.
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