Fisker Automotive took last year's Detroit auto show by surprise with a plug-in hybrid concept called the Karma. The surprise wasn't that it was a plug-in — a technology that a year later still hasn't hit the market from any manufacturer — it was the fact that the Karma looked like an Italian supercar, and that it had four doors yet still looked stunning. Now, the Irvine, Calif.-based company has rolled out its 2010 production version of the Karma. Last year's concept was actually more of a prototype, so the real thing looks just as stunning.
The Karma is basically a battery-powered electric car with an onboard range-extending generator, not unlike Chevrolet's much-anticipated Volt. It's technically also a series hybrid because the generator's added power can increase the car's speed when combined with the juice from the battery. Running on battery alone — called Stealth mode — the car can reach 95 mph. In Sport mode, with the gas engine generating electricity, the top speed is 125 mph (electronically limited from a possible 150 mph, according to Fisker). Regardless of mode, the 0-60 time is 5.8 seconds. The two motors drive all four wheels, and safety features like antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard.