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December 29, 2017

Henrik Fisker’s Brainchild gets a Chinese Reboot

By Elite Traveler

By Alexandra Cheney

This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

Construction workers, Corvette drivers, even the resident valet guy can’t help but exclaim “nice car” as I wind my way through the hills and valleys of Malibu Canyon. With a long, undulating hood and stout, muscular tension through the rear wheelbase, the Karma Revero is a car that commands attention.

It is also a bit of a conundrum; the vehicle weighs 5,400lbs, more than a 2018 ToyotaT undra truck. That is due to its dual electric motors, 21-kilowatt-hour battery and a two-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Unlike other hybrids, which alternate between motors, the Karma Revero uses the combustion engine to fuel its electric motors once its 50-mile electric range is tapped. Were the car lighter, it would easily achieve a more impressive range, but company executives insist that is not the point. It is pure, unadulterated indulgence in the form of a start-up automobile company, and a markedly atypical option to other electric-powered sedans. Heads will turn; the very point of the vehicle is its divergent elements. The Fisker redux offers three driving modes—Sport, Stealth, and Sustain—and three regenerative braking ones as well, each of which allows the vehicle to recapture lost energy by way of the brakes. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure means of driving.

Karma Revero is based on the Fisker Karma, a vehicle conceptualized by Henrik Fisker (who also had a hand in the design of the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage) that had a penchant for catching fire. Fisker declared bankruptcy in 2013 and Wanxiang Group purchased its remaining assets in 2014, renaming the company Karma Automotive. With 75 automobiles currently on the road, its updates include Bridge of Weir plush leather interiors and a spectrum of full-bodied, mica-heavy exterior colors that accentuate the vehicle’s already strong, polarizing shoulder and hip lines.

In addition to the car itself, the $130,000 price tag comes with a dedicated customer service representative and over-the-air live updates.

From $130,000, karmaautomotive.com

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