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EX:Shadow/Canyon #324
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I know our CA dealer demo cars are held up awaiting CARB certification. But do any of the East Coast/Midwest dealers have their demo cars? Has anyone taken a test drive?

- Dennis
 

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dennis said:
I know our CA dealer demo cars are held up awaiting CARB certification. But do any of the East Coast/Midwest dealers have their demo cars? Has anyone taken a test drive?

- Dennis
Fisker of Cleveland has one. I will be test driving again tomorrow with a more scrutinizing eye since these are "production cars".

I will report back.

adam
 

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Yeah, hopefully they'll be rock solid and they won't have lame excuses about how the demo cars were "rushed" out of the factory to get them to the dealers "early".

I haven't checked, but the Seattle dealer probably isn't going to put the demo in service until after the auto show this weekend.
 

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Just heard from Fisker of Atlanta that at least one demo car is arriving there today. I'll be taking it for a drive tomorrow afternoon or Sunday. Pics and report to follow...
 

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Just got back from a 45 minute test drive which covered 30 miles. The car had approx. 3/4 of the battery charged and 1/4 of gasoline. I drove the car 90% in Stealth with Hill mode engaged. I should also mention that at 3/4 full of battery chrage, the car read 30 miles range.

I drove a combination of city and highway driving, mostly highway and I pushed it! Taking corners at 60MPH was awesome and the car did extraordinarily well for its weight. As others have stated before, the car feels very solid at all speeds. After 30 miles I had drained the battery and the car switched to Sport mode. Again, I pushed the car, this was not your leisurely weekend drive and I got 30 miles out of 3/4 full battery charge. I do not think it's a stretch to get close to 50 on a full charge with a better focus on efficiency. Judging on how generous they are with fuel economy on regular gas cars, I am surprised the EPA came in with such low numbers. But regardless, you should do better than the EPA published figures.

The fit and finish of the car was nothing short of spectacular! The EcoChic was better than expected and those who chose it I think will love it. There were only two problems with the car. The check engine light was on and the interior lights were on and simply would not shut off. Obviously this is a big problem and one that I guarantee will get worked out. Those were the only problems I experienced! The software on the dash was MUCH better than the demo cars from the roadshow. The nav software was vastly improved and there were no errors that popped up during the drive or after. The bluetooth audio paired very quickly to my iPhone and there was no lag. It worked wonderfully! Overall, the dashboard software was great. I was very impressed.

This car is a showstopper! While at the dealer, random people were driving in off the street to find out what kind of car it was and their jaws were always sagged and praised claim on the vehicle. While on the road, countless people stare at the car in awe. If you want to maintain a low profile, this is not the car for you.

Overall, I was very impressed with the fit and finish of the production vehicle and am encouraged that Fisker is finally adjusting to their growth. Today was a very positive test drive and inspection of the vehicle.

I cannot wait to get mine!!!

adam

Any other questions, I'll be happy to answer as best I can.
 

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Good news! Yes, this car will be the whiplash car for some time to come. Other drivers don't even give 911 Turbos a second glance anymore, but if one of these babies drives by, there are going to be some gawkers!
 

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@TheBreadman: Thank you for the great report. Two follow-up questions:

(1) Did you notice if the noise issue is finally put to rest in this version of the car? (2) how did the acceleration feel?

Thanks,

-- Fab.
 

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Atlanta Demo Car Drive

I took a test drive today of my dealer's first Demo model. It's a production Silver Wind Eco Chic with the glacier tri-tone interior. This is the second time I've driven a Karma (the first was during the Road Show), so this isn't a complete review, just the highlights and differences I've noticed. This was my wife's first time seeing and driving a Karma.

I was the second consumer to drive the vehicle (I was supposed to be first but they snuck-in a walk-in before my appointment!) and the vehicle had a whopping 87 miles on the odometer. It had a partial charge left and the gauge read 13 miles remaining in stealth.

Here are my observations and lessons learned in no particular order:

Appearance:

-This was the first time I got to see Diamond Dust paint on the car and I really liked it. There's a nice level of sparkle to it, and I think the glass flake provides a nicer depth than metal flaked paints do.
- It's pretty funny how the car turns heads. At one point we pulled over to an empty office park parking lot to switch drivers, and one person passed us, made a U-turn and pulled in just to see what the heck it was. Stealth mode may apply to the powertrain but don't expect to go unnoticed in this car.

Performance:

- I didn't notice any difference in performance between this and the road show, even though this vehicle has the "detuned" ICE configuration. If you were ok with the performance before, you'll be ok with it now
- The car is vastly quieter under Sport Mode operation than the road show. The re-engineered muffler system does the job. Apparently, they changed the system completely, from two independent small mufflers to one large and centralized muffler box. You can still hear the engine, but it's nothing like it was and much more in keeping with other vehicles. It's also much less discordant.
- It seems like the ICE RPM is much more correlated to throttle position now. When you step on the pedal is seems to rev higher, like you would expect in a conventionally engined car. This may have been my imagination, but both my wife and I observed it. I wonder if this wasn't changed in response to feedback about the disconnect between the accelerator pedal and engine activity.
- There are two Hill mode settings, and the Drive indicator in the middle of the Speedo will say "1" or "2" depending on which is selected. I got to teach the Dealer rep about this, he had no idea there was more than one Hill mode. There's a noticeable difference between them. I like mode 1 which is fairly gentle regenerative braking, my wife liked mode 2 which she said feels more like the compression braking she feels when she lets off the gas on her 6-speed Miata. Where we live isn't particularly hilly so hill mode is mostly useful to us as an alternative to friction braking and as a way to get some free energy
- We drove the car in both Sport and Stealth modes, and using both Hill 1 and Hill 2. When we returned it to the dealership there were 18 stealth miles remaining (We gained 6)


Command Center:

- The Command Center had a newer version of software than the road show cars. The energy display now includes range information, regen power created and other details
- The command center responsiveness is slow. There is at least a one full second delay between a finger press and reaction. This will take some getting used to.
- The haptic feedback can be disabled through the menus. I didn't try it so don't know what effect this would have on responsiveness.
- The steering wheel controls like volume do not exhibit a delay so I suspect the delay is in the touchscreen processing.
- I didn't experiment with any of the voice activation capabilities but this might also help negate the slow responsiveness of the touch screen
- The backup camera provides a clear color picture or the area behind the car but does not overlay any guidance information as some vehicles do
- The Nav screen can include traffic information from Sirius/XM. The Nav is OK, but still doesn't use all of the screen real estate and isn't nearly as beautiful as the systems on Lexus, for instance. It does show points of interest now, including McDonald's golden arches logos where McD restaurants are! I'm sure this is configurable, but I didn't try.
- When playing music from USB (the dealer loaded some MP3s on a spare Fisker bamboo USB drive) the display includes Title, Album, Artist and Album art.

Miscellaneous:

- I got my hands on a PDF of the US owner's manual. It's 24MB and you can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?i267u3rmjkc3wok
- There is a digital readout of speed in the small area above and between the round dashboard gauges. I don't think the roadshow cars did this
- Under the hood above the passenger front wheel well is a high voltage cable connection that leads to the motors. Unplugging this for 30 seconds will re-boot the vehicle. This is apparently the trick they had to use during the roadshow to revive the vehicle when it died on me. This cable includes a little tag instructing emergency response personnel where to sever it with shears in the event of an accident.
- The car has robotic headlamp washers that pop out, squirt the headlamps and retract automatically upon every fifth use of the windshield washer
- The car has a Valet mode that will lock out the glove compartment and the trunk. You enter valet mode on the Command Center and provide a 4-digit PIN to set it. You can then provide the 4-digit PIN to turn it off. The valet mode doesn't allow you to constrain speed, performance or range as far as I can tell.
- The position of the steering wheel, mirrors and driver's seat can be saved and associated with a key fob. In other words, depending on the fob you use to start the car, the vehicle will adjust seats and mirrors to match. There is no passenger seat memory.
- The steering wheel is four-way electrically adjustable, and can also be configured to move up-and-away automatically when the car is turned off to assist with ingress/egress, and return to position automatically when the car is turned on.
- I got to see the owner's documentation that comes with the vehicle. In addition to a certificate attesting to the nature of the wood (recovered, submerged, etc) you receive a Fisker embossed leather binder containing an Owner's Manual, a Quick Reference Guide, a Touchscreen User Manual, a Roadside Assistance manual, a Warranty and Service manual and a pamphlet from Goodyear about the tires. This binder will easily fit in the Karma's rather spacious glove compartment.
- The convenience charger lives in a well under the floor of the trunk, along with the tire inflator kit. There is no spare tire.


Glitches:

- The interior lights were on for the duration of the drive. There was no obvious reason why. I notice this was mentioned in another test drive review as well, so I wonder if it's a software issue
- Fit and finish overall was very good but we did notice that the top panels on either side of the front hood (adjacent to the hood hinge) didn't exactly lie flush with the hood, and they were slightly elevated above the hood line. I'm speaking of the triangular areas on both sides of the car that come to a point where the nose, hood and top of the headlight assembly come together. It's not immediately noticeable, but once my wife pointed it out it was pretty obvious. I wouldn't be surprised if this was addressed at some point.


Service and Maintenance:

- The vehicle comes with a 50 month/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
- The vehicle includes all scheduled maintenance for the same 50 month/50,000 miles
- The vehicle includes Roadside Assistance for the same 50 month/50,000 miles
- I was shown a preliminary service schedule. Nothing unexpected: First oil change at 5,000 miles, then at 10,000 then every 10,000 miles or 1 year. Cabin air filer at 20,000, 50,000, 80,000 and 100,000 miles.

Overall:

- I'm truly excited about owning this car. For all of the frustrations, delays and well chronicled gaffes and sins of Fisker Automotive, they've built a pretty amazing vehicle that certainly turns heads.


Now it's just a matter of waiting. My vehicle has probably been manufactured (10/24/2011 date) and may or may not be on the next ship. Or the one after that. Sigh...


Brent
 

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Fabulist said:
@TheBreadman: Thank you for the great report. Two follow-up questions:

(1) Did you notice if the noise issue is finally put to rest in this version of the car? (2) how did the acceleration feel?

Thanks,

-- Fab.
Fab:

The noise issue has definitely been taken care of.

The car feels sluggish in my opinion, but not slow enough to overcome all the rest of the great aspects and make me second guess my decision to wait.
 

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RE: Atlanta Demo Car Drive

LonePalmBJ said:
- I was shown a preliminary service schedule. Nothing unexpected: First oil change at 5,000 miles, then at 10,000 then every 10,000 miles or 1 year. Cabin air filer at 20,000, 50,000, 80,000 and 100,000 miles.
Surprising to me that the interval is by miles traveled as opposed to number of engine revolutions or something like that. (Once you get over oil changes in an "EV".)
 

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RE: Atlanta Demo Car Drive

doug said:
[Surprising to me that the interval is by miles traveled as opposed to number of engine revolutions or something like that. (Once you get over oil changes in an "EV".)


I always thought a Hobbs meter would be a better solution. It is what you have in light airplanes and it measures how many hours the engine has run, which in turn triggers the service intervals for the engine.

The Karma's engine management computer undoubtedly keeps track of how many hours the ICE has operated since the last service interval and could easily alert the user when the next service is due, so you don't even need a dedicated instrument for that.

-- Fab.
 

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I test drove a Karma (finally!) at Fisker Silicon Valley this afternoon/evening. I am a Signature deposit holder (#86) but had never seen one (or driven one) in person - I was always traveling when they were in town.

First - the car is beautiful. This car had the suede interior, not my cup of tea, but the build quality was excellent.

The battery was down to 14 miles (the gas tank was near full) when I started, and I drove for most of the 30 min drive in Sport mode. I switched back and forth between Stealth and Sport a few times and *could NEVER hear the gas engine* - it was silent, the high pitch (but faint) squeal of the electric motor drowned out any noise from the gas engine. Muffler 3.0 seems to work well.

Acceleration (even starting at 14 miles in the battery i.e. not full power) was great, handling was great...

I played around with the console a little - it was slow responding to the initial "I agree" when you start the car, and was slow (5 seconds per screen) the *first* time you went to any of the main screens (climate, audio, phone, etc.). Successive taps on the function screens were instant - it appears to be caching the screens, which is good news for a SW fix to improve responsiveness on this (they should be able to just pre-cache the screens).

My dealer said that a boat full of Eco Chic cars had just landed and they should get theirs in 7-10 days, and that the boat with Signature Edition cars (including mine) was somewhere in the Atlantic already. He was hopeful of delivering mine before December 9th (when I go on a vacation).

An interesting note - he said that about 30 of the Signature Edition cars were through the Silicon Valley dealership, and they had around 100 orders total. They also had received 4 more orders this last weekend, after receiving their demo on Friday and driving test drives all weekend. Good news for the financial viability of Fisker.
 

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siliconkiwi said:
I test drove a Karma (finally!) at Fisker Silicon Valley this afternoon/evening. I am a Signature deposit holder (#86) but had never seen one (or driven one) in person - I was always traveling when they were in town.

First - the car is beautiful. This car had the suede interior, not my cup of tea, but the build quality was excellent.

The battery was down to 14 miles (the gas tank was near full) when I started, and I drove for most of the 30 min drive in Sport mode. I switched back and forth between Stealth and Sport a few times and *could NEVER hear the gas engine* - it was silent, the high pitch (but faint) squeal of the electric motor drowned out any noise from the gas engine. Muffler 3.0 seems to work well.

Acceleration (even starting at 14 miles in the battery i.e. not full power) was great, handling was great...

I played around with the console a little - it was slow responding to the initial "I agree" when you start the car, and was slow (5 seconds per screen) the *first* time you went to any of the main screens (climate, audio, phone, etc.). Successive taps on the function screens were instant - it appears to be caching the screens, which is good news for a SW fix to improve responsiveness on this (they should be able to just pre-cache the screens).

My dealer said that a boat full of Eco Chic cars had just landed and they should get theirs in 7-10 days, and that the boat with Signature Edition cars (including mine) was somewhere in the Atlantic already. He was hopeful of delivering mine before December 9th (when I go on a vacation).

An interesting note - he said that about 30 of the Signature Edition cars were through the Silicon Valley dealership, and they had around 100 orders total. They also had received 4 more orders this last weekend, after receiving their demo on Friday and driving test drives all weekend. Good news for the financial viability of Fisker.
Fisker OC has approximately 300 orders and counting so far...
 

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kabalah70 said:
Very nice. Starting to come around on keeping my Sig Ed.
Our Dealer has one car(Silver Wind) and is offering demo drives for depositors. Driving tomorrow! Great writeup on the car, thanks for all of the information. Very excited about the exhaust changes and the interior appointments.
 

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I drove a demo model at my dealer, Fisker of Huntsville, AL. It was Silver Wind with Glacier Tri-Tone EcoChic model. Both Stealth and Sport were peppy enough for me. I was most interested in experimenting with the modes. We started out with 22 miles on the battery, drove down the street toward the highway, kept it in Stealth Mode up to 65 mph until we got to the interstate, and clicked it into Sport on the on ramp and accelerated, taking note of the 17 miles left on the battery. 6.8 miles down the highway, I pulled off and switched back to Stealth, noting that the battery had been recharged to 20 miles. Drove most of the rest of the way back to the dealership on Stealth playing around with the differences between Hill 1 and 2 regenerative braking, Hill 2 is extremely aggressive to the point that it would stop the car long before I got to a stop light. The key for those hypermilers out there will be to judge the right distance and use the settings appropriately because unless you completely let off the accelerator pedal you will not go into regenerative braking. Even with my first learning and practicing these techniques along with the other drivers before me the 180+ miles logged on the car for Trip A showed a 62 MPG average. A few miles from the dealership I clicked back into Sprot mode to help put a charge back on the battery and we pulled into the showroom floor with 20 miles on the battery, having been down to 13 at the lowest point on the drive.

There are still a few quirks. I have no idea if this has the updated software, but the TPS alert was on so we went to the diagnostics page in the Command Center and clicked on tires, and the display flashed for about one second, showing the front left tire pressure in orange 48 while the others were black and above 50 psi.

I turned the radio up to 9 in the showroom and it was plenty loud and sounded nice, I don't know what the max level is and probably will never find out personally myself. I tested and verified the fact that entering the car and pressing the Start button without having a foot on the brake pedal brings the car into ACCessory mode and the EVer word on the Start button is in orange. Pressing and holding the brake pedal and then pressing the Start button brings the car into STEALTH mode and the EVer word on the Start button is in green. However, if the car is plugged in, noted by the plug icon on the instrument cluster, instead of reading STEALTH in the display it will read READY and the plug icon will flash.
The pattern of the fabric on the seats for the EcoChic Tri-Tone is different than the pattern for the leather of the EcoSport Tri-Tone. It is more of a DNA twist pattern running down the center portion rather than the diagonal split of the EcoSport. Nice touch to differentiate the interiors more.
I remember someone saying that their glove box fell open in their Road Show Test drive, however, when the glovebox button was pressed in this car, it had the nice slow open release.
Ah, yes, Silver Wind is definitely lighter by a shade or two from the Silver Mirage of the Signature Editions. Makes me feel better knowing that my exterior is actually exclusive by look and not just name. The Silver Mirage has a tiny bit of a Gold sheen to it if I had to describe it. I will take a picture and post when I have my car next to the Demo model at my dealer when it comes in. I really didn't play with the Command Center either, for things like Bluetooth connectivity and voice commands. I did however try to find the dealership with the rep with me and it looked like the navigation database only went to about the Ms, by street, and stopped. Perhaps not a full database on purpose? Also, when typing data into the nav screen, the back arrow which doesn't look at all like a key, and is located up and to the right of the rest of the keys did not have any haptic response to it.
It is nice, much like my new helicopter upgrade of the UH-60L to the UH-60M that much of these issues can be addressed with software upgrades rather than hardware. I cannot remember anything else significant about the drive. Hope this was informative to you all.
 

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Thanks for the report.

I also tried both Hill Modes and I think Hill Mode II is too agressive for normal driving (also because the brake light doesn't light up) and should only be used for descending a hill. Hill Mode I is more suitable for flat roads.

Do you fly a Blackhawk?
 

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Drove the demo car for my dealer today. Supporting other findings from Lone Palm, the exhaust has been fixed and you can barely hear the engine anymore. Only with your foot into it in sport mode on the highway will you hear it. Acceleration is awesome!
Not sure if others have noticed but every Karma I've driven has wheel shake in the steering wheel. The wheel/tire combination is very sensitive and if it throws a weight, you can definitely feel it in the steering wheel.
Demo car, when wheel was turned sharp and rolling slow made a very strange squeeking sound.
Clearance in the demo car is better than the roadshow car. Roadshow car seemed to scrape the airdam every opportunity. This one didn't.
Software will continue to be an issue. When I used the turn signal, it turned on the high beam indicator for about 5 seconds, then it went off. Not sure what that's all about.
Gas tank cover and Electrical tank cover - Mr. Fisker, is that a cover for a $100k car? Flimsy. I'm planning on buying extras right away, they are very flimsy and not representative of a bespoke vehicle like the Karma.
Noticed that the electrical plug, when removing it you need to use both thumbs to unplug from the car. The clip that holds in in place doesn't move very well. Patience and pressure is the key.
Suspension - even better than the roadshow cars. Awesome!
Interior - can't say enough about the interior quality. amazing.
Thanks Henrik! You've hit the mark and exceeded expectations.
 
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