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Act 1: Bum Rushed By A Deer
Coming back from a quick trip to the local grocery store, I eased into the gas to clear a green light. As a cruised down the hill at about 45mph, I noticed that the traffic coming the opposite direction of the two lane road was slowing. I lifted off the gas, then saw why. A deer was standing on the opposite side of the road. Almost as if know I had just made eye contact, it bum rushed me. It was coming at full speed right at me from the left. I didn’t even have time to hit the breaks.

It was headed straight for the front hood. Before I had time to calculate if it would crash through my windshield and A-Pillar, an autocross quick swerve right and back to the left as if navigating a chicane. There isn’t much shoulder to the road, so at best I moved two to three feet over to the right.

The drivers side mirror gave the deer a 35 MPH left cross. The deer went down for the count. My brain began to catch up, calculating the crass through the windshield, or driver’s side window right at me, and how close I just came to being taken out myself. I stopped at the light, half a block from the event. Decided I was too shaken to process what just happened, and drove one more block to my house to unload the two bags of groceries, and gather my wits to go back, call animal control or whatever it is you do. I told my wife what happened, and asked her to come with me. We were back on the scene in less than 10 minutes, and the deer was gone. The deer have pretty hard heads and apparently can take a punch. The mirror was broken, and folded in, and that must have softened the blow. Besides the mirror, not a scratch. If I looked closely, I could see some light brown dirt puffed off the deer at contact that dusted the car ever so slightly.

As I snapped a picture of the mirror to send to the dealer to order the replacement, and schedule the repair, I reflected on how absolutely amazingly the Fisker handled. I’ve taken my old Ferrari 550 to the track, and even tried autocross once, and the Karma, I think, handled better on the deer dodging chicane maneuver, and may have saved my life – and certainly the deer’s life.

Act II: Yoda Says, Do or do not, there is no try.
I accelerated from a stop sign up to about 50. It is a 45mph, and I was going a little faster as I wanted to grab the one electric charger at my work, and make it into my office for a Webinar I was presenting for Marketing Profs, and I was running just a tad late. It is one of those roads I love to drive fast on, as there is plenty of visibility and only one T-intersecting road onto this two-lane road. However, today the roads were still damp from late night rain, and up ahead a line of four cars were stopped behind a black SUV making a left turn onto the one interesting road. The black SUV takes the left turn, with plenty of space to spare. Behind the car is a pearl colored Buick mini SUV. The driver hesitates, then decides to turn left as well. It is a dumb move. There really isn’t space to safely turn left. I begin to apply my breaks. And then the driver makes an even dumber move.

The drive stops midway in my lane. Now I am slamming on the breaks, ABS is kicking in on the wet road. I am going to crash. As you read, pretend you are holding the steering wheel. Put your hands up at 10 and 2 (as if the wheel is a clock). Now turn really hard to the right to where your arms cross and hit each as the forearms collide with a nearly 180 degree rotation of the wheel. Then quickly spin them back to 10 and 2.

That is the maneuver I did to make it around the front of this car parked midway in my lane. I used more than a bit of the T intersection and the second swerve back into my lane was as important as the swerve around the Buick. Curbs, trees, stop signs avoided and I was back on the road shaking my head at the driver of the Build. All I could think of was Yoda’s “Do or Do Not. There is No Try.” (it would have been easier to avoid if the person hadn’t stopped midway through the turn!).

While annoyed with the other driver, I was so happy to have the Fisker Karma. The #1 safety feature is handling, and I’ll tell you, with ABS engaged, and hard turning it handled as well as, maybe better than any other car I owned. When I originally bought the Fisker, I thought I’d keep my 911 Turbo. It is all wheel drive, and very sure footed. I’ve driven it at Laguna Seca race track in the rain at 120 MPH down the straight away hand finessed the breaks to bring it down to make the Andretti hair pin. I love the 911 Turbo. As I had both the Karma and the 911, I found I loved the Karma more, and really didn’t need to be filling garage space with a car I wasn’t going to drive. Today, I am glad I made the Karma my daily driver. I really believe it handled as well, or better than the Porsche under the conditions I needed to maneuver.

I doubt I would have died today. I had scrubbed off enough speed, and with airbags and all – but I certainly would have missed my webinar, and been unable to make the trip down the SLO, and what a mess it would have made out of both cars. In the scheme of things, none really all that important compared to life itself, but nonetheless, I think the Karma is a lifesaver. I think the deer thinks so too.
 

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Wow, Rex, I'm glad you made it out unscathed. Great stuff...
I, too, find the Karma's handling amazing for a big car. Maybe not as nimble as some, but very firmly planted, which obviously comes from great weight distribution, a wide and long wheelbase, and well-engineered traction control. Having those 22-inch wheels allows a lot of that weight to sit at or below axle height, which is possibly the key factor in you being able to turn around an axis without having your rear-end swing out in massive oversteer. Those custom-engineered Goodyears made specially for Fisker also sound like a great handling investment. So next time someone says: "wow, those are some big wheels", you whip out your "saved my life" story...
 

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Time to record a testimonial!
 
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