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Should Tesla worry about the reincarnated Karma hybrid?

Karma Automotive, a Chinese-owned firm previously known as Fisker Automotive, has introduced a gasoline-electric sedan named Revero.

The Revero was born from the scattered ashes of the Fisker Karma, a luxurious sedan sold in strictly limited numbers in 2011 and 2012. The aesthetic differences between the Revero and the Karma are minor at best. Careful observers will point out the Revero features new emblems — which are hand-painted, according to the company — a revised grille, new-look headlights, and new alloy wheel designs. The cabin receives a more modern infotainment system developed from scratch.

Like its Fisker-badged predecessor, the Revero is powered by a gasoline-electric drivetrain built around a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from the General Motors parts bin. The turbo four acts as a range extender that charges a lithium-ion battery pack, meaning it doesn’t directly spin the wheels. The Chevrolet Volt uses a similar setup.

The 21.4kWh battery pack feeds the electric motors that zap the rear wheels with 403 horsepower and 981 pound-feet of torque. According to Green Car Reports the Revero hits 60 mph from a stop in 5.4 seconds — over a second faster than the Fisker Karma. An 80-percent charge is available in just 24 minutes thanks to an on-board quick charger. Additionally, a roof-mounted solar panel can provide about a mile and a half’s worth of range per day in ideal weather conditions.

Karma executives openly admit they’re aiming for Tesla.

“We think we’re in Tesla’s court. If it was just about style, we would only go head to head with Aston Martin and Maserati. But these buyers are also interested in the technology,” affirmed Jim Taylor, the company’s chief revenue officer, in an interview with Automotive News.

Karma will assemble the Revero in a facility located in California, a stone’s throw from the Tesla factory. And while the company hasn’t disclosed sales projections yet, its promotional material strongly suggests the Revero will be a low-volume niche model.

Read more: Mamma mia! Fiat could launch a “copy” of the Tesla Model 3 with a more Italian look

“No one needs a product like this to get from point A to point B. We exist for those who have to have one. There are plenty of exceptional cars out there for the rest of you,” the company’s official website states.

The Karma Revero will go on sale shortly with a base price of about $130,000 before options and government incentives are factored in. Karma has previously announced plans to sell cars through privately-owned stores, a strategy pioneered by Tesla, as well as online and through traditional dealerships.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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