It is quite fitting that HSH Prince Albert of Monaco was the one to put the Fisker Karma through its paces at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. His Serene Highness is known for his commitment to the environment and has always expressed a strong interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world.
According to Henrik Fisker, it was actually the Sovereign Prince that was the inspiration behind the development of the Karma. Fisker commented: “The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.” We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative,” continued Fisker.
Visitors to the world’s most prestigious motorsport event were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit. On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world’s first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.
The Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets, inspired by Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city. It is the only true Electric Vehicle with extended range where its rear wheels are powered using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km.) The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors and there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.
The Fisker Karma is unique in that it can operate in two separate modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving it the greatest range on battery power before having to activate the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain the battery charge. In this mode, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 95 mph. In Sport Mode, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, which accelerates the Karma from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, topping out at 125 mph.
The Fisker Karma was designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary aluminum space frame gives it the necessary rigidity and strength that enable world-class ride and handling characteristics. It is the first production car that has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, giving it that final air of sophistication.
Fisker plans on delivering vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year. We invite you to come in for a test drive as soon as the first vehicles hit showrooms. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay in the loop of the latest updates.
So there’s hype, buzz and then a mix of those with reality when you talk about luxury and conscientiousness. Porsche has taken an interesting venture into the Hybrid fray with no different an approach than all of their other engineering (well, let’s say nearly all). The 2011 Cayenne Hybrid is amazing: Porsche performance with a green halo! So what makes this one tick?
Unlike a typical full hybrid model, in a parallel full hybrid system the electric motor is integrated into the drivetrain. The hybrid module sits between the transmission and the combustion engine where it docks to a decoupler. The heart and brain of the drive system is the Hybrid Manager: supplied with all the relevant information, it coordinates the combustion engine and electric motor to suit the current driving style. The 240-cell, 288-Volt battery with a 38-kilowatt capacity is situated in the spare wheel recess. A useful space-saving, because it minimises the intrusion into the luggage volume. With the aid of a special cooling system, its temperature is maintained at below 40°C.
And for a little more techie speak, what makes the Cayenne Hybrid work so well? The parallel full hybrid system also comes into its own when driven at higher speeds. Without drive power needed from the engine and electric motor, the gasoline engine is automatically disengaged from the drivetrain and shuts off: The Cayenne S Hybrid continues to “coast” along. Engine drag and the associated deceleration effect are eliminated, and efficiency is increased.
The “e-power” function expands the range in which the vehicle can be run solely on electric power. The throttle map is adapted so that the combustion engine is engaged later than when in “Normal” mode, depending on performance requirements. This function is activated via a button on the center console.
All things considered, this is what it comes down to: More dynamic. More powerful. More efficient. Keep that in mind if you’re already been by to drive the completely redesigned gas Cayenne. This Cayenne hauls, at a whole new level!
This is an exciting vehicle, no matter which way you look at it. Porsche has a winner on its hands with the complete redesign of the Cayenne. It’s no wonder that it has taken the luxury SUV market by storm since inception.
In this test drive video, our own Carl Tofflemire has some grin-inducing fun with the unrivaled Cayenne. Look at the car and you’ll see, aside from the fact that it shares some overall looks from the previous generation, the new vehicle is nothing like the outgoing model. No detail was left untouched by Porsche’s engineering and design teams as they set out to create the ultimate vehicle in the category. And we’re pleased to have it!
As Carl demonstrates, the new Porsche Cayenne has power to spare and features to match. Porsche even states that the 2011 Turbo gets better gas mileage than the 2010 V6! Talk about upgrades and improvements! But don’t take our word for it, come on in and experience it for yourself…in a V6 or V8.