The Fisker Karma was in development quite a long time when the company could struggle on no longer; and Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang Group bought the project, along with battery-maker A123, which had gone from a bright future with DaimlerChrysler to bankruptcy.
The Fisker Karma was actually unveiled back in 2011; today’s Karma Revereo is quite similar, though the maker is different and production, hundreds of cars per year, moved from Delaware to California in 2016. The latest Karma is the Rivero GT, a quicker version of the basic car.
The 536-horsepower 2020 Karma Revero GT will use the stopping power of Brembo brakes. Brembo worked closely with the Karma engineering team to provide a light weight, low drag brake system.
The Brembo front caliper is a six-piston all-aluminum monobloc (single piece) design, providing the 370 X 34 mm rotor with high clamping power. The caliper has a retraction spring to keep pads from dragging on the rotor, to increase the range of the Karma. The six pistons are staggered in diameter, 30/34/38 mm, to allow for even stopping pressure on the 115 cm2 brake pads. The rear has a similar-design four-piston caliper which, coupled with the Revero GT’s regenerative brakes, will increase brake pad life.
Inside, drivers face a combination of warm, traditional leather and wood, and modern, high-tech plastic and brushed aluminum, very nicely styled. The pushbutton shifter, likely unique, solves the problem of “shifting by touch.”
Brembo’s electromechanical parking brake replaces the Karma‘s mechanical parking brake, reducing weight by 1.7kg (3.8lb) compared with a typical drum-in-hat system; it’s also less complicated.
The seats are very comfortable indeed, and getting in and out is fairly easy. The doors pop open rather than using traditional releases, which is a bit of an unnecessary touch for traditional doors. However, the warm, traditional-luxury brown interior is very attractive and very comfortable.
Brembo’s chief executive, Dan Sandberg, pointed out that they could combine fine stopping power with low drag. The Revero GT’s 0-60 time, according to Sandberg, is four and a half seconds. He added, “Brembo brakes enable a seamless transition between regenerative braking and friction braking. The low drag caliper maximizes fuel economy and EV battery-only range.”
According to Darren Post, Karma’s vice president of engineering, Brembo’s design changes “helped us achieve our objective without a loss in overall pedal feel; essential to the luxury performance of our car.” The Karma weighs over two and a half tons, so a combination of good pedal feel and braking are hard to achieve.
The gauge cluster is all digital and not at all traditional. The information presented is easily readable, using a large, bold typeface.
Brakes will be available in a choice of slate, silver, blue, orange, yellow, and red. All calipers have the Brembo logo.
The red interior is for those who prefer modern sporty to traditional luxury. The earth colors disappear entirely, but both are a nice, comfortable leather.
The lower-left button cluster shows how designers have looked at the details, making an interior that is both user-friendly and attractive.
The downside of the Karma is mediocre performance for the price (which the GT addresses, albeit at a higher price) and an exceedingly stiff suspension which tries to wring out good cornering from an overly heavy car.
That other promising electric car maker, Faraday Future, still plans to make the FF91 electric car, if it can find investors; Faraday’s creator has followed the company’s highly esteemed namesake himself by losing his money (Michael Faraday did not actually lose his money; he started without any). The FF91 had a claimed 0-60 in 2.4 seconds and 1,050 horsepower, four-wheel steering, and a claimed 300 miles per charge. That said, the Revero is here, now—and the Faraday Future car is, sadly, still in the future.