Karma Revero 2017: The hybrid sedan is back from the dead and better for it

If the 2017 Karma Revero looks a lot like the Fisker Karma that was out of production by the end of 2012, then your eyes won’t fool you. The stylish GT is getting a second chance in life thanks to Chinese auto parts maker Wansiang, which bought the rest of Fisker Automotive goes bankrupt and battery supplier A123 Systems. From the ashes is Karma Automotive, start of delivery 403-hp Revero hybrid sedan reborn in June.

The long road to launch Revero involves the company rebuilding its workforce, bringing it from 29 people just three years ago to 900 current employees. Then there was a mission to remake the car urgently produced under the supervision of Fisker. The hybrid powertrain is rough with a noticeable shiver every time the throttle engine starts. Build quality is far from top quality, while small details like the lack of door lights and steering controls make it difficult to navigate the interior at night.


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While looking through the car with his own eyes, Karma’s hard work seemed to pay off. The panel gaps are tight and consistent, and the paint job looks perfect. Besides the hand-drawn Karma Automotive badges, the Revero looks like the Fisker I drove five years ago.

Official Karma admitted Fisker Karma was not originally for inhalation and took the necessary time hoping to get it right. Initially, the new company wanted to launch Revero last December, but delayed it until June to get things settled. Everything in the car has been reassessed, from big items like the powertrain to smaller details like the hood and door seals. Oh, and setting up a manufacturing facility in Moreno Valley, California to build cars is also on the to-do list.

Better second time around.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

Inside, the front seats are comfortable and backed, high-quality materials, all the controls are now backlit and have usable space. Things are tighter in the back, but enough to pick up a few people for a night in town. When I finally roll over a short driveway, the NVH improvements come to be apparent as wind noise and minimal tires creep into the cabin, which is especially impressive considering the super rubber. 22 inch Goodyear Eagle F1 car.

Possibly the largest interior upgrade center on the 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen that Karma has developed in-house. Unlike the half-hearted system in Fisker, Revero’s system is quick to respond to commands, works intuitively, and has smooth graphics. Bluetooth is standard, while both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will come later this year. Disappointingly, satellite radio was unavailable.

The familiar hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and two electric motors powered by General Motors, delivering 403-horse power and 981 pound-feet of torque. -feet. Dropping the hammer that hits the occupants as the Revero sprints to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, blazingly fast for a 5,400-pound car, but not as fast as base Tesla versions Model S.

Karma claims a total driving range of around 300 miles at checkout at both the electric motor and the petrol engine with up to 50 miles coming on electricity alone. A slight increase in range is thanks to the solar roof, which is currently capable of delivering about an extra mile on sunny days. In the past, solar roofs could only power interior systems, not powertrain systems.

However, EPA Revero’s official figures say company estimates can be optimistic, with an electrical range rating of 37 miles and total arrival range at 240 miles.

When it comes to full charge, using a DC quick charger will drain the battery to a state of 80 percent charge in 24 minutes. Plugging into a normal household outlet takes 10 hours to fully charge.

The hybrid powertrain runs smoother.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

During my short revs, the Karma’s throttle and brake regen tuning stood out. The accelerator lever and the car can smoothly exit the stop in Normal mode. Braking involvement is not sudden, preventing jerky rides.

Over a few bends, Revero is still upright and requires more careful practice. With big tires, button-mounted suspension and direct steering, I suspect it will do well on a zigzag road, but my driving is almost entirely on busy urban streets. . On major bumps, the suspension provides enough supply for a ride quality suitable for everyday driving.

I would need more time with the Revero on more entertaining roads before reaching complete conclusions about the second appearance of this large hybrid passenger car, but it made a positive initial impression. A higher level of refinement gives a striking look to the car.

Small production equates exclusivity.

Nick Miotke / Roadshow

The improvements come at a price, however: the 2017 Karma Revero starts at $ 130,000 with destination fees plus $ 1,400. Monopoly is also part of the Revero story, with Karma’s factory building only one car per day and growing to just three per day by the end of the year. In 2018, Karma hopes to produce about 150 cars and between 200 and 300 cars by 2019.

Given that amount of production, spotting a Karma Revero in the wild probably won’t happen as often, but if you do, know that it’s not just Fisker Karma. It’s a much better car and something that was supposed to show up in showrooms in the first place.

Update, September 5: This story has been modified to reflect EPA’s fuel economy estimates, contradicting Karma’s earlier statement.

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