The Fisker Karma – Update

The Fisker Karma is going to be built around a state of the art new aluminum space-frame chassis according to a brand spanking new press release from Fisker Automotive. Originally revealed on the 14 January 2008 at the North American International Auto Show the Fisker caused quite the stir with it’s flowing lines and cutting edge technology, the newly revealed space-frame is harnesses NASA level engineering and promises some of the highest strength and rigidity ratings of any high-end sports car on the market. Valmet Automotive will assemble the space frames at its facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland (just try saying that out loud, I double dare you).Pictures of the chassis are embargoed until after the unveiling at the Geneva Motorshow (March 2-14) but we will have them here for you just as soon as we are allowed to.

Fisker is quite public about their plans to launch a second line of lower cost, high volume green automobiles by 2012 and the rumours flying around the Electric-Car-News world is that it just might slip a prototype of this all new car out at Geneva this year, which we hardly need tell you would kick up quite a frenzy throughout the motoring world. Here’s hoping.

Performance Specifications

  • 0-60mph – 5.8 seconds
  • Top Speed – 125 mph
  • Range – 300 miles
  • Economy – 67 mpg (when using onboard power generation)

Press Release


IRVINE, CA – February 17, 2010: The advanced aluminum space frame underpinning the Fisker Karma incorporates new levels of rigidity and strength that will give the world’s first premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle world-class ride and handling characteristics. It will debut at the Geneva Motor Show March 2-14, 2010.

Fisker Automotive’s talented and experienced engineering team designed the Karma’s space frame around the car’s unique Q-DRIVE® series-hybrid powertrain, filing for multiple patents in the process. Q-DRIVE® consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged ECOTEC® engine/generator set, a lithium-ion battery pack from A123 Systems, and a rear-mounted 403hp traction motor assembly.

Though it forms the foundation of a large sedan the Karma space frame’s rigidity is exceptional even when compared to today’s sports cars. By utilizing 5,000- and 6,000- series aluminum alloys and a unique extrusion-intensive architecture, the Fisker engineering team achieved the best balance between weight and size.

“Our top priorities when we designed the Karma’s aluminum space frame were that it have extremely high torsional rigidity and could be easily modified to accept Karma model variants,” explained Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. “We benchmarked some of the world’s best cars to create an all-new space frame that will deliver an exhilarating experience behind the wheel.

A super-structural tunnel running down the car’s centerline acts as the Karma’s backbone. It not only houses the battery pack but acts as a torque tube connecting front and rear sections. For optimal strength the Karma’s space frame is joined with 79 meters of precision CMT MIG welds and 1,058 self-piercing rivets. Each technique is used independently only where necessary to ensure top quality and durability.

The result is an industry-leading space frame that provides a solid foundation for the Karma. Few cars match its statistics: Static torsional rigidity – the amount the space frame resists twisting forces when entering a ramp at an angle, for example – measures more than 33,000 Newton-meters per degree (Nm/deg). Static bending rigidity – the amount the space frame resists flexing forces as the car enters a ramp straight on, for example – measures more than 23,000 N/mm. Dynamic stiffness – the space frame’s resistance to resonant vibrations like those felt when driving over a sharp bump or rough road surfaces — is also world class.

Priority: Safety

Thanks to intelligent engineering solutions the Karma’s space frame also provides the utmost in occupant safety and exceeds global crash protection standards.

Front impact protection starts with a patent-pending, multi-cell tempered aluminum crush box that displaces high-impact energy away from passengers. Its unique design allows it to be easily replaced, reducing repair costs that could lower insurance premiums. Dual Phase 600-Series steel reinforced components in the doors and B- pillars provide substantial side impact protection. And the lithium-ion battery’s location in the center of the car puts it farthest from impact areas.

Valmet Automotive will assemble the space frames at its state-of-the-art facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland.


Fisker Automotive is a privately owned, premium American car company with a vision to lead the automotive industry into the next-generation of automobiles with high-end design expertise and eco-friendly powertrain technology. Global headquarters are in Irvine, California, USA.

The company was created in 2007 to leverage the design capabilities of Fisker Coachbuild, LLC, founded by auto design veterans Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, and the PHEV powertrain capabilities of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ-QTWW), a major Tier 1 supplier of clean vehicle technologies to the automotive OEMs. Previously, Fisker, CEO, was design director for Aston Martin and president and CEO of BMW’s DesignworksUSA. Koehler, COO, led operations for Ford’s Global Advanced Design Studio and created concept cars for Aston Martin, MINI and BMW.

Fisker Automotive’s first car is the Fisker Karma, the world’s first premium Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The four-door Karma will be followed by two variants and a second line of lower cost, high volume premium green automobiles by 2012.


The Press Embargo Was Lifted on March 1st, please note the new image of the Fisker Karma Space Frame Below

Via Fisker Automotive

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