Finnish Luxury Hybrid Vehicle Sells in Mission Valley

The latest breed of hybrid has arrived from Finland in the form of an electric luxury vehicle. The Marvin K. Brown dealership in Mission Valley has an inventory of a dozen Fisker Karmas.

A showroom greeter named Laura said they have sold “14 or 15” of the all-electric drive vehicle, which retails for between $97,000 and $114,000.

“Most people just order them online and then come in to pick them up,” she said.

Similar to the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, the Fisker Karma can be plugged into a conventional electrical outlet and possesses a gasoline generator system that charges the batteries; unlike the Volt and Leaf, the Karma has the equivalent of just over 400 horsepower and has twin motors that enable it to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph. The all-electric range is reportedly 50 miles; total combined range, 300 miles; and it averages 100 miles on a gallon of gas.

Proclaiming their product “a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury,” the car company touts “sustainable design”: Laura pointed out that wood trim in the dash had been sourced from a burnt forest rather than new lumber.

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I started out hating the whole idea and concept behind Fisker: Taking (US) government money and taking millions of years to churn out a viable product. But, I have to say, I take some of it back. The car isn't offensively expensive when compared to comparable BMW (7s), Audi (A8s), and Porsche Panameras and it does perform at least reasonably well.

My main concern is that batteries still suck monkey balls so you're lugging around about a thousand pounds of soon-to-break garbage. On top of that, they won't tell you the expected battery life expectancy, nor the replacement cost though experts have estimated $10K+.

I really like cars. Great article!

I thought hybrid cars are being built with the main objective to be environmentally friendly. Thus, having this model that is able to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds with a maximum speed of 125mph, kinds of defeat the entire purpose of a hybrid car. The higher the speed, the higher the level of energy a car utilizes which will eventually mean a higher wastage of natural resources.

Though the car boasts sustainable design and it is more environmentally friendly than petrol cars, i think to be truly "green", one had better take the public transport. I'm surprised that most of their customers ordered the car online. Does it mean there is a thriving business model for online car sales nowadays? It seems I better watch out for this industry that might be on the rise. Martin Braun

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