When you think of startup companies planning to build with advanced electric powertrains, one name springs instantly to mind: Motors.
But another company, Auto, has been quietly beavering away out there. Under former designer Henrik , the copmany has created a low, sleek, sports sedan with a plug-in powertrain.
And, remarkably, 18 months after unveiling their Karma concept at the 2008 , appears to be on track to build the first ones by the end of this year and deliver customer cars by next May or June.
The will offer 400 horsepower of peak power, for a 0-to-60-mph time of less than 6 seconds, and it will retail for $87,000.
The Karma’s small 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine will be sourced from General Motors; the 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack comes from Canada’s Advanced Lithium Power.
The Karma, in fact, uses a similar series architecture to the Volt: It operates exclusively on electricity for up to 50 miles, depending on how aggressively it’s driven, and then the gasoline engine generates enough electricity to run 250 more miles.
As always, the proof is in the pudding. When we get behind the wheel of a working Karma–which no journalist has yet done–then we’ll be able to assess whether the car is a viable product.
And when we see the first customers driving away in their Karmas, we’ll be convinced the company is actually real. But the company says it has 1,400 deposits, which