Should Tesla be worried about Karma? Chinese firm revamps the brand

karma revero news teaser specs performance preview 1
Karma Automotive, a Chinese-owned firm previously known as Fisker Automotive, has announced plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid sedan called Revero in the coming weeks. A brief teaser video published by the young company gives us a better idea of what to expect from the car.

The Revero was born from the scattered ashes of the Fisker Karma, a luxurious gasoline-electric sedan sold in strictly limited numbers in 2011 and 2012. At first glance, it looks like 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. Pictures of the rear end aren’t available yet.

Like its Fisker-badged predecessor, the Revero will get a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain capable of running on electricity alone for approximately 50 miles, which is enough to cover many motorists’ daily commute. The drivetrain will allegedly use components purchased from the BMW parts bin, though Karma isn’t ready to divulge more specific technical details.

Interestingly, the Revero boasts a large, roof-mounted solar panel that generates enough energy to charge the car. Many cars have offered roof-mounted solar panels in the past, including the Toyota Prius in Japan, but they’ve typically generated enough juice only to run the A/C while parked in the scorching sun. If Karma’s claim is true, the Revero will be revolutionary because it will be the first truly cordless electric model on the market.

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

The company’s teaser material shows the Revero’s cabin is fitted with carbon fiber trim and a brand new infotainment system that’s ambitiously billed as simple, intuitive, and beautiful. The original Karma was a four-seater, and it’s safe to assume that the born-again model offers the same configuration.

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.

“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 make its official debut during a private event held next month. The car will go on sale shortly after, and Karma has previously announced plans to sell cars through privately owned store, a strategy pioneered by Tesla, as well as through traditional dealerships. While official pricing information hasn’t been announced yet, the “build-it-and-they’ll-come” approach the brand is taking leads us to believe the Revero won’t be cheap.

Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Cars

Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that’s coming to the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.
Cars

Karma Automotive unveils two head-turning concept cars, quicker 2020 Revero GT

Karma Automotive brought three new cars to the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including a long overdue redesigned version of its Revero plug-in hybrid, an all-electric concept car, and a concept coupe designed in concert with legendary Italian…
Cars

Your electric, 610-hp Aston Martin sport sedan has arrived, Mr. Bond

At least four years in the making, the electric Aston Martin Rapide E made its global debut during the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It leaves the V12 behind, and adopts a battery-powered drivetrain that delivers 610 hp and 700 lb-ft. of torque.
Cars

The 2020 Subaru Outback wants to take you to (and teach you about) the outdoors

The Outback is one of Subaru's most significant models, so the Japanese firm couldn't afford to make a mistake when it overhauled the model. The sixth-generation Outback is still rugged but more user-friendly than ever before.
Cars

2019 Audi TT RS gets subtle cosmetic surgery ahead of its trip to the Big Apple

The 2019 Audi TT RS gets a minor face-lift, but it keeps its signature turbocharged inline-five engine. The updated TT RS makes its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors luxury brand still cares about sedans. Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it features Cadillac's Super Cruise tech and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

The 2020 Toyota Yaris offers big car tech in a small, Mazda-flavored package

Toyota resurrected the Yaris nameplate with a little bit of help from Mazda. Closely related to the Mazda2, the hatchback now stands out with a sharper design than before, and tech features normally found on bigger, more expensive cars.
Cars

2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition is an ordinary sedan built in a supercar factory

What's so special about the 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition? It's built at the Acura Performance Manufacturing Center, the Ohio factory that makes the NSX supercar. The TLX PMC Edition debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.
Cars

Technology trickles down from above to make the new 2019 Audi Q3 smarter

The redesigned 2019 Audi Q3 makes its U.S. debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The firm's smallest SUV receives tech features like a virtual cockpit and a single screen variant of MMI Touch Response from bigger models.
Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz will give the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.