Dream garage #8 – Fisker Karma

How can someone not want this car? It’s ticks all the boxes. Gorgeous-looking? Check. Goes like stink? Check. Low-emissions and high fuel economy? Check. I can’t believe this car hasn’t been thought of sooner. However, nothing’s perfect and it does have its drawbacks. It’s large, it’s expensive, and most of all, it’s late. The long wait that many future Karma owners have had to endure must be frustrating, but I’m guessing it will be worth it. Personally, I find it to be a current automotive pinnacle, unless there’s some other terrible flaw Fisker hasn’t told anyone about.

Another interesting bit to dwell upon is the interior design. I’ll be honest, the design is some two years old now, and for cars, that’s a long time. Car cabins get nicer and nicer as time progresses, and even cheap cars get very interesting-looking innards. Despite that, it does look cool, and reminds me of minimalist Volvo interior designs, which are fabulous. And there’s more, and I’ll quote directly from the Wikipedia article:

The base model features an “eco-friendly interior”, including salvaged lumber from fires or even from lake bottoms. Optional leather seating is available, but it will use much more of the cow hide than would customarily be found on luxury models—hides with scratches and other mars (which should not affect functionality) will be used.

This is something other brands should exploit, and I’d go further. The insistence on leather is pathetic, with less glitzy but far more cosy materials getting an ill-deserved reputation as not being sufficiently upmarket. I covered this in my other blog (previous to the creation of this one, and it’s a good article, IMHO, so I might re-publish it here), and though Fisker’s alternative isn’t perfect because it still involves skinning our poor innocent bovine friends, but it’s better than mainstream approaches.

Returning to another downside, the price, one can’t help but think what kind of market segment Fisker is aiming for. Rich fat-cats who have the money for this sort of car usually go for high-end BMWs, Mercs and Jags. Then again, I think this car might be able to steal some of the usual expensive-sedan clientèle. It’s much better-looking, goes as fast (or nearly as fast) as M5’s and AMG’s and the sort, while getting amazing mileage. This last bit will appeal to Johnny Aristocrat since he’ll have to make less stops at the pump (where he has to mingle with riff-raff), and to other German Big Three car owning-posers, who can hardly afford the thing (and got a diesel to try to save a bit on fuel).

That said, the Karma’s success depends on impressing this niche of the market. It has to look fashionable and status-sporting, and current widespread Top Gear-like mentality is anathema to this. I wish the Karma all the success in the world, and leads the way for other beautiful, fuel-sipping cars.

P.S. Sorry, no more galleries for my Dream Car Garage. Very time-consuming, and time is something I don’t have.


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