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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All -

My buddy shows up in his brand new Karma last week and invites me to hop in the driver's seat to go for a drive. I politely declined a couple of times and then said "Ok, fine...let's head down the PCH".

Long story short - I loved the car and now I can't stop researching and plotting how to get one in my garage. It shouldn't have been a big surprise to me but it was. Here's why: the design just blew my mind. Allow me a short explanation...

I've been fortunate to own 4 of the most striking Pininfarina bodied cars spanning over 40 years...but have always had a thing for the Z8 and DB9 as well. Well, Old Man Pininfarina passed a long time ago and last year Sergio said goodbye too. Meanwhile, Henrik is still alive and kicking; so, I guess it's time to start a new addiction. :)

I've built up quite a little list of questions in my head and thought the best thing to do is toss them out here in a jumble and let the members chime in where they can.

Here goes...in no particular order:

1) How difficult is it to finance (not lease) the Karma these days in the US? My buddy ran into a snag and sounded like it was going to require major hoop jumping and take up to 2 days for approval through US Bank (allegedly the only ones financing the cars). Can this be right? I really don't want to 'write a check' for the car since money is so cheap.

2) Is the US Federal Tax credit only applicable if you buy new or never registered (i.e., a Demo) Karma? Or is it possible to receive the credit on a used model?

3) Has anyone come up with a tuned exhaust to do something about the rather anemic & sickly sound from the ICE? I know the market for this mod is small but seems like for the right price (and sound) just about everyone would buy it.

4) Do all of the external paint colors have that ground up glass additive or is it only a few colors like Deep Ocean? I thought it was so striking...if I did get a Karma, I would absolutely want a color with that 'feature'.

5) If you are in Hill mode and the car starts to do some regenerative braking...do the brake lights turn on to warn those behind you?

6) What's going on with the prices? Some dealers sticking to $100k+ list price and others having fire sales (bad pun not intended) of up to $20k off of MSRP. How long will the latter last? Why is it so inconsistent across dealers?

7) How well are the interior materials in the EcoChic holding up? Especially the more neutral, creamy colors. I'd worry about the fabrics picking up and holding onto dirt and grime ... generally being difficult to clean. Not only that, but does it begin to look worn after a lot of use?

8) I know the warranty was extended on all 2012s but is there a free maintenance program also included for some period of years/miles? Does all of that transfer to the new owner (in the case of buying a used model)?

9) Ok, sorta dumb, but what is the silver knob on the inside of each front seat headrest?

10) Alas, Wifey says I have to get rid of something in the garage before I get a Karma. She knows this is the same as saying "No" to me...so, is there a cloaking device available for this spaceship? :D

PS My name is Rick and I live in San Diego (aka Sandy Eggo).
 

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If you love good design, you need a Karma. Inside and out, this car is a beautiful piece of equipment to own, and even more so to use. Go back to the dealer with your questions, it will give you a chance to take another test drive!
 

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Good Call!

@Sandy Eggo, great call on the design and sounds like your mind is already made up, but you ask a lot of great question. As the owner of a 1+ Year Old Karma with 15000 miles on it, I will try to lead you to where the answers may be, so here goes:

1) How difficult is it to finance (not lease) the Karma these days in the US? My buddy ran into a snag and sounded like it was going to require major hoop jumping and take up to 2 days for approval through US Bank (allegedly the only ones financing the cars). Can this be right? I really don't want to 'write a check' for the car since money is so cheap.
There a couple of threads on financing going back to Dec. 2011 and January 2012, such as this one. I had no trouble getting the car financed at a local credit union for 2.49%, and this is when there only 50 of these cars on the roads in the world, so getting a loan these days should not be a problem.

2) Is the US Federal Tax credit only applicable if you buy new or never registered (i.e., a Demo) Karma? Or is it possible to receive the credit on a used model?
You need to check with your accountant on this one, but as far as I know, the credit can only be claimed by a car's buyer once. So if you are buying a used car from someone who has not claimed the credit, you should be OK, but you best consult with your accountant on this one. Check here for more information.


3) Has anyone come up with a tuned exhaust to do something about the rather anemic & sickly sound from the ICE? I know the market for this mod is small but seems like for the right price (and sound) just about everyone would buy it.
Not yet, and given the tight geometry of the engine bay on the Karma, it seems like a daunting technical task, which means you have found an untapped market opportunity here.

4) Do all of the external paint colors have that ground up glass additive or is it only a few colors like Deep Ocean? I thought it was so striking...if I did get a Karma, I would absolutely want a color with that 'feature'.
Only some of the paints have the sparkly glass in it but every color is incredibly striking, with or without the glass. My car is Eclipse (black) with incredibly deep blue undertones that still knocks my socks off when the car is really clean and I walk up to it on a nice shiny day.

5) If you are in Hill mode and the car starts to do some regenerative braking...do the brake lights turn on to warn those behind you?
The brake lights only come on when you press on the brake pedal. You can get the same effect as hill mode by pressing lightly on the brake pedal, so if you are concerned about tailgaters, you don't have to use Hill mode.

6) What's going on with the prices? Some dealers sticking to $100k+ list price and others having fire sales (bad pun not intended) of up to $20k off of MSRP. How long will the latter last? Why is it so inconsistent across dealers?
Like any other manufacturer, Fisker tries different incentive programs to move their cars off the lots. The lastest incentive program came into effect late in 2012. Also, some of the dealers are just motivated to move cars, so this is a great time to get a good deal.

7) How well are the interior materials in the EcoChic holding up? Especially the more neutral, creamy colors. I'd worry about the fabrics picking up and holding onto dirt and grime ... generally being difficult to clean. Not only that, but does it begin to look worn after a lot of use?
Sorry, can't help you there. My car's interior is Eco Sport and even after a year of heavy use, the leather is soft and supple as the day I got the car. Maybe one of the Eco Chic crowd can fill in here.

8) I know the warranty was extended on all 2012s but is there a free maintenance program also included for some period of years/miles? Does all of that transfer to the new owner (in the case of buying a used model)?
Check out the details of the warranty program here.

9) Ok, sorta dumb, but what is the silver knob on the inside of each front seat headrest?
My guess, and it's only a guess, is a coat hanger of some kind.

10) Alas, Wifey says I have to get rid of something in the garage before I get a Karma. She knows this is the same as saying "No" to me...so, is there a cloaking device available for this spaceship? :D
Actually, the exact opposite is true. This spaceship is an attention magnet. Be prepared for reckless driving by moms in minivans to get close to the car to take pictures of it with their phone, at full speed, on the freeway. At first, it's a bit disturbing but you will get used to it. Your best would be to buy your wife one too. :D


PS My name is Rick and I live in San Diego (aka Sandy Eggo).
Nice to meet you, and feel free to search through the forums or post other questions.
 

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Hi All -

2) Is the US Federal Tax credit only applicable if you buy new or never registered (i.e., a Demo) Karma? Or is it possible to receive the credit on a used model?

3) Has anyone come up with a tuned exhaust to do something about the rather anemic & sickly sound from the ICE? I know the market for this mod is small but seems like for the right price (and sound) just about everyone would buy it.

4) Do all of the external paint colors have that ground up glass additive or is it only a few colors like Deep Ocean? I thought it was so striking...if I did get a Karma, I would absolutely want a color with that 'feature'.

5) If you are in Hill mode and the car starts to do some regenerative braking...do the brake lights turn on to warn those behind you?

6) What's going on with the prices? Some dealers sticking to $100k+ list price and others having fire sales (bad pun not intended) of up to $20k off of MSRP. How long will the latter last? Why is it so inconsistent across dealers?


9) Ok, sorta dumb, but what is the silver knob on the inside of each front seat headrest?
To address some of your questions...

(2) my understanding is that only the original owner can claim it. I just did my taxes for 2012 and the form requires the vehicle's VIN number - so I presume it checks it to make sure a tax credit claim has not already been filed against that VIN

(3) Not yet - but hopefully someone does because that is only one of two unpleasant parts of the Karma driving experience (the other being the Command Center, which is still much better than when I first got it a year ago)

(4) Silver (both Mirage and Wind), Deep Ocean, Shadow and Earth are DiamondDust. White and Black do not have it nor does Laguna and Inferno (Red).

(5) Nope

(6) Most of the dealers in green/car hotspots haven't had fire sales - its usually the areas with less traffic (one exception to this was Fisker SD - but Fisker Santa Monica and Fisker OC bought up most of their inventory when they closed). I suspect that market clearing prices for new Karmas are closer to the original MSRP than the fire sale numbers we saw a month or two ago. I expect once this Geely deal closes that prices will stabilize around MSRP given relative shortage of new Karmas.

(9) Hanger for dry cleaning.
 

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One more reply to (1), I borrowed about 30% of the price of the car (generally don't like borrowing at all, would have pre-financed the whole thing myself, but my house remodel ran way over the original projections), dealer got the loan through Chase, no big deal. I went for short duration (2 year, shortest I could get) so even though it's at just over 3% the finance cost is pretty minimal.

Like so many others I have the EcoSport rather than the EcoChic, so can't say anything about the synthetic fabric durability.

For (8), I know if buying new, routine maintenance is included. My dealer (Fisker Salt Lake) will also wash the car for you whenever you bring it by, and I had them clean one kid's dirty finger prints off the headliner. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the additional input and answers. Good info about the Diamond Dust paint treatment. Too bad for me that Laguna, Inferno and Black are my favorite colors. Doh.
 

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Black has diamond dust....
No, it does not. Black (or Eclipse as it is called) is not one of the four colors that have Diamond Dust in them. You can see the color selection palette by selecting "Build your Karma" here.
 

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My inferno almost looks like it has diamond dust but the "grain" is much finer. Check out the colors at the dealer. He should have actual painted color samples if he doesn't have the car in that color in stock.
 

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@Sandy Eggo: I've had my Karma with Glacier EcoChic interior for almost 5 months now. I don't think I'll ever have any appreciation for a leather interior again because the EcoChic is so incredibly comfortable. It has held up well over the past 2,300 miles. I even managed to knock my Starbucks cappuccino cup around, spraying most of the passenger seat with coffee infused foam and it cleaned right up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think Wifey might win...maybe I should sell one of the other cars. Anybody interested in a 1995 F355 GTS? Last of the truly pretty Ferraris.

Not to mention, the scream it emits at 8,500 rpm makes grown men cry and women's undergarments disintegrate. It will more than compensate for the rattle the GM EcoTec makes. :)

PM me if interested in acquiring this modern classic and helping me into a Karma!
 

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As someone that has worked on and serviced a Karma with over 60k miles on it, I can say that the interior definitely holds up. No worries there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Sandy Eggo: I've had my Karma with Glacier EcoChic interior for almost 5 months now. I don't think I'll ever have any appreciation for a leather interior again because the EcoChic is so incredibly comfortable. It has held up well over the past 2,300 miles. I even managed to knock my Starbucks cappuccino cup around, spraying most of the passenger seat with coffee infused foam and it cleaned right up.
As someone that has worked on and serviced a Karma with over 60k miles on it, I can say that the interior definitely holds up. No worries there.
Thanks for the input on the interiors. I'm going to test drive a couple tomorrow. Wish me luck !
 

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I have an Eclipse and agree with Fabulist. No glass in paint. The black, when cleaned and in bright light shows blue undertones which is what made my artistic wife say yes to the Black (Eclipse). I have never seen anything quite like it anywhere. I do have the Eco Chic Glacier interior. I was concerned of its durability especially the steering wheel. so far after four months and 4,000 miles it looks like the day It was delivered. I live in South Beach and unlike my other leather interior cars the Fisker stays much much cooler sitting in the Florida Sun.
 

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I think Wifey might win...maybe I should sell one of the other cars. Anybody interested in a 1995 F355 GTS? Last of the truly pretty Ferraris.

Not to mention, the scream it emits at 8,500 rpm makes grown men cry and women's undergarments disintegrate. It will more than compensate for the rattle the GM EcoTec makes. :)

PM me if interested in acquiring this modern classic and helping me into a Karma!
I manage to hold on to my 2006 612 Scaglietti. Funny thing.... I have not used it much since I got the Karma. A screaming 8500RPM V12 is fun but how often does one do that in traffic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I manage to hold on to my 2006 612 Scaglietti. Funny thing.... I have not used it much since I got the Karma. A screaming 8500RPM V12 is fun but how often does one do that in traffic?
A deal is in the works on a Karma. :thumbup:

I know I'll miss it like crazy but I am ready to move on from my F355. The scream of that V8 is like nothing else on earth but I've had my fun.

Like you, it would probably just end up sitting idle in my garage while the Karma gets the nod more often than not.
 

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I'm now an owner of a Laguna / Black Karma - S/N 2602. Whoohooo !!

:D
Congratulations! This is awesome! Always happy to welcome a new member. Of course, now you learn the meaning of one of our founding principles: "No Picture = Did Not Happen". We would love to see photos of your new Karma, particularly the super rare Laguna color.
 
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