Joe Yogerst 2017-09-05 07:15:11
Reclaimed from the ashes of the Fisker Karma, the Revero is a sporty hybrid touring car launched by the resurrected Irvine-based carmaker. Aimed at the same upscale, eco-conscious audience as the Tesla Model S and BMW i3, the Karma Revero cruises 50 miles on the electric power provided by its regenerative braking system and solar roof. Further power (and mileage) is added by a two-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged General Motors combustion engine that gets around 20 miles to the gallon and extends the vehicle’s range to about 300 miles. The Karma drew rave reviews and earned kudos across the automotive world when it was launched in 2011 by company co-founder and chief designer Henrik Fisker. However, plagued by recalls, legal tussles and the bankruptcy of its battery maker, Fisker Automotive halted production of the Karma the following year and declared its own bankruptcy in 2013. In the same vein as DeLorean, Edsel, Tucker Torpedo and other flashy failures, pundits figured Fisker would never recover from the ash heap of automotive history. But along came a savior—Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang Group— which won bankruptcy auctions to purchase both the battery maker and Fisker. “It was definitely a miracle,” says Jim Taylor, the chief revenue officer and spokesperson at Karma Automotive. “A combination of faith, luck, timing and a dream. Our current owner (Wanxiang founder and chairman Lu Guanqiu) is in his 70s now, but always dreamed of having his own luxury car company. This was his chance to jump into the car business without starting from scratch. Like the people who drive our cars, he was buying his dream.” The progeny of that dream is the Revero, a $130,000 bundle of sophisticated technology and futuristic design. On the surface, it looks very similar to the old Karma. But it comes with new bumpers and grill, new exterior and interior colors, greater all-electric range, more efficient solar panels, much faster recharging, and highly personalized touches like the handmade badge and interior trim made from reclaimed wood. In terms of performance, the Revero boasts a top speed of 125 mph and can race from zero to 60 in just 5.4 seconds. Its three driving modes include Stealth (all-battery), Sustain (which engages the combustion engine before the battery is completely drained), and Sport (which uses both electric and combustion for maximum power). Whether cruising the California coastline on a long road trip, basking in luxury on short local jaunts, or speeding through a desert oasis to test the power of the engine, the Karma Revero pairs unprecedented technology with beauty and brawn. SOLAR ROOF It may look like a cool design feature, but the Revero’s aerodynamic black roof doubles as a cluster of solar panels. The cells charge both the regular 12-volt battery and the highvoltage lithium-ion battery that powers electric motors to turn the rear wheels. Extending the all-electric capabilities to around 50 miles, the roof was designed to optimize sunlight angles while driving or parked. PASSENGER CABIN A mosaic of leather, carbon fiber and aluminum, the Revero’s passenger compartment blends comfort, safety and high-tech automotive efficiency. An intuitive touch screen interface manages navigation, communication, entertainment and personal drive settings. But the features that really set it apart are the unusual accent trims—wood salvaged from California wildfires or driftwood salvaged from the shores of Lake Michigan. OVERALL DESIGN Reportedly inspired by the windblown shape of sand dunes, the Revero is long, low slung and ultra-aerodynamic, its high-tech aura softened by a front end that actually seems to smile at you. Reflecting its geographical origins, the color schemes are inspired by Southern California nature— Borrego Black, Anza Desert, Pacific Fog and Corona del Sol among them. BADGE Taking bespoke to another level, every Revero badge is handmade and painted by Hawaiian artist Dennis Mathewson, who also designed the distinctive sun disks. According to Karma, no other car company has ever personalized its badges to such an extent. Mathewson signs the back of each badge so that each one is unique to his art. WHEELS AND BRAKES Revero offers a choice of four different wheel covers and brake calipers in six different colors. Behind the beauty is extreme brawn—powerful antilock brakes with panic brake assist that combine with regenerative technology to recharge the high-voltage battery whenever the brakes are applied.
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