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2020 Karma Revero GTS adds performance to go with its sleek looks

As if turning the aging Fisker Karma into the Karma Revero GT wasn’t difficult enough, Karma Automotive is trying to make a sporty version of the plug-in hybrid luxury car. Unveiled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Karma Revero GTS adds a dose of performance to what has always been a laid-back cruiser.

The GTS retains the powertrain from the Revero GT. A BMW-sourced turbocharged three-cylinder engine acts as a generator, providing electricity for two rear-mounted electric motors. In the Revero GT, those motors produce a combined 536 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Karma didn’t mention a power increase for the GTS, but claims the new model will be quicker. The GTS will do zero to 60 mph in less than 3.9 seconds, according to Karma, compared to 4.5 seconds for the GT. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph. A 28-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides up to 80 miles of electric-only driving, according to Karma, which is unchanged from the Revero GT.

Karma didn’t offer much detail on the GTS’ performance upgrades, but said the new model has torque vectoring. The division of torque between the rear wheels can be adjusted to help the car turn into corners more easily. Numerous other cars, from the Subaru Impreza to the Bentley Continental GT, have used torque vectoring to good effect, so it will be interesting to see how well Karma’s version works.

Not all of the changes are related to performance. The GTS also gets a steering wheel with haptic controls, and a 570-watt Soloscope audio system developed in-house by Karma. On the outside, the GTS is differentiated from the GT by carbon fiber trim.

The Revero GTS is the latest chapter in a convoluted story. It can trace its DNA back to the Fisker Karma, which launched in 2012. After a short production run, Fisker Automotive went bankrupt. The remains were bought by Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang in 2014, and the Fisker Karma eventually went back into production as the Karma Revero. Karma then gave the car a massive overhaul, relaunching it as the Revero GT at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. Meanwhile, Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker went on to start a second electric-car company, which plans to sell a sub-$40,000 SUV through a subscription program.

The 2020 Karma Revero GTS starts at $149,950, and will be built in Moreno Valley, California. Karma is currently taking pre-orders for the car, but doesn’t expect to start production until the first quarter of 2020. Deliveries of the less-sporty Revero GT will begin before the end of 2019, Karma claims.

Updated on November 20, 2019: Added live photos.

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