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brian said:
I've driven this car, and frankly it's good, but not great. It's a great eco-car for sure, but if you ignore the eco aspect and focus just on the car itself and the driving experience it's really just a B or B+.
(Emphasis Added)

@Brian: That's the logical flaw in your argument. You can't ignore the ECO aspects of this car since it was specifically designed to be a high-performance luxury ECO Car. Using your own example, this is like saying that if you ignore the great engine and drive train in the Mitsubishi 3000, it is not worth the price because it is butt-ugly ( I am no Ferrari expert, but if a designer at Ferrari designed anything that hideous, their entire family would be expelled from Italy and possibly from the whole of Eurpoe).

Fisker never set out the build the next Koenigsegg or Gumpert or Maybach. They set out to build a great ECO car, which you even concede, they have achieved. I am sure your Aston would come up short if you compared it to a Gufstream IV, but that completely misses the point too,

-- Fab.
 

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Ugg... ok... so here's the thing on that. The Karma is *not* a great Eco car. It only goes 50 miles on electric and then gets a lousy 21-25 mpg after that. Once again, it's a B not an A. This car just isn't as great as everyone is working it up to be. Yes, it's the only luxury eco car out there, so if that's what you're in the market for then it's the car to get, but that still doesn't justify the price.

-Brian
 

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I wouldn't base my judgement of a car on one or two test drives of maybe 20-30 minutes. My dealer told me that the actual production cars are so much better compared to the pre-production cars. He - and I - drove a pre-production car that was produced in April and he drove a production car that was produced in September. According to him the difference is huge, it handles even better that it already did. Let's wait until we have all driven real production cars for a few months before we conclude whether the Karma offers value for money or not.
 

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brian said:
es, it's the only luxury eco car out there, so if that's what you're in the market for then it's the car to get, but that still doesn't justify the price.
(emphasis added)

@Brian: I agree that the Karma is, at the moment anyway, sui generis and it could go either way. Neither you nor Fisker can dictate what the correct price of a Karma should be, only the market can do that. It's entirely possible that, like the Chevy Volt, the dealers can demand and receive a markup beyond the MSRP since this car is so unique and in such demand, or it may turn out that the dealers would have to discount them just to move them out. We just have to wait and see.

-- Fab.
 

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My lease just expired on a 2008 Lexus LS600hL, which my wife and I drove 45K miles. It cost $115K and is a hybrid luxury sedan, so IMO it is a valid comparison to the Karma at the new pricing. The Lexus weighs 5000 lbs., 0-60 is 5.5 seconds, and because of the hybrid powertrain it got 50% better gas mileage than the V-12 BMW it replaced under similar hard driving. Here's my report card (I've had 2 test drives in the Karma):

Karma LS600
Styling A B
Performance B B+
Handling A C
Eco-cred A- B
Comfort B- A-

So the Karma stacks up well. But the market is moving and the real late 2012 competition may be the 300 mile range Tesla Model S at $80K. I've sat in one but haven't driven it. On paper, it looks like a straight-A student, unless you want to drive from San Francisco to LA.

- Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
The Model S is definitely nice, but I actually don't like the front end of it much: it reminds me too much of a shark. I also wonder how it will handle if you have the 300-mile battery pack (which one should also note is really a "not more than 300 mile" range, one can probably expect something like 270 miles on a full charge in general, like the 45 miles Edmunds got from their 3-day test of the Karma). The extended range pack uses higher energy density cells but is still going to be quite heavy, and one big reason the Karma's 0-60 time is low by comparison to other similarly-powered cars is due to the Karma's weight, including the 600 lbs of battery. (The frame is pretty heavy too—mass-produced cars use monocoque unibody construction to hold weight down—and the electric motors are heavier-duty than needed, due to being designed for military use, probably in armored vehicles. Quantum Worldwide reported in their latest 10Q that they are working on a lighter-duty power train for the Nina.)[hr]
Dutch said:
One year from now that $80K Model S will probably not cost $80K anymore. ;)
Well, we'll have to see ... originally it was intended to be roughly $70k (~50k for base plus ~20k for biggest batteries) so it's already done its first step up. :) More interesting to me is whether it will be out in only one year from now.

I have a rule of thumb I use when investing in tech stuff: "it costs more, and takes longer" (than projections, even when the projections assume that it costs more and takes longer...).[hr]
By the way, I should add that Motor Authority and Edmunds Inside Line have both confirmed the price increase. Haven't heard from my local dealer yet though :)
 

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The 300 mile Model S still lists for $77K. The $70k price they quote is after the Fed rebate. Since they haven't published option pricing yet, I rounded up to try to get an apples to apples with the Karma.
 

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Just received this email from my Dealer (Fisker Marin):

We have received our first shipment of Karmas!
Test-drives are now available.
Pricing to Increase: Place Your Order Now!
Orders taken by this Thursday, December 15, 2011
will be price-protected against a 6% factory price-increase.
Placed a deposit but not ordered your Karma?
Deposit holders must place an order by January 15, 2011
in order to be protected against the 6% price increase.
If you have already placed an order for your Karma and
are waiting for delivery you are also price-protected.
Not the best-written email but certainly gets the points across.

-- Fab.
 

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I agree with Fabulist, for a $100k car, a $6k boost in price isn't a huge amount. Inflation is rearing its ugly head, especially in the industrial commodities. I'm actually surprised the increase wasn't 10%.

Tesla has managed to keep their promised base price the same, but we don't know yet what they're going to charge for the options, or even for the Signature edition. Plus, I'd bet that like Fisker, they'll be forced to increase their base price shortly after they start deliveries.

Inflation is no fun!
 

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dennis said:
The 300 mile Model S still lists for $77K. The $70k price they quote is after the Fed rebate. Since they haven't published option pricing yet, I rounded up to try to get an apples to apples with the Karma.
For all things Fisker has done wrong, at least they never used the 'trick' of posting a price after rebate for the Karma (they did for the Nina).
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
The Model S is definitely nice, but I actually don't like the front end of it much: it reminds me too much of a shark. I also wonder how it will handle if you have the 300-mile battery pack (which one should also note is really a "not more than 300 mile" range, one can probably expect something like 270 miles on a full charge in general, like the 45 miles Edmunds got from their 3-day test of the Karma). The extended range pack uses higher energy density cells but is still going to be quite heavy, and one big reason the Karma's 0-60 time is low by comparison to other similarly-powered cars is due to the Karma's weight, including the 600 lbs of battery. (The frame is pretty heavy too—mass-produced cars use monocoque unibody construction to hold weight down—and the electric motors are heavier-duty than needed, due to being designed for military use, probably in armored vehicles. Quantum Worldwide reported in their latest 10Q that they are working on a lighter-duty power train for the Nina.)[hr]
I would be shocked if the Karma uses the same electric motors as the Aggressor prototype. I just assumed that electric engines that produced 200 HP each and for long periods of time had to be pretty beefy. The main weight savings in the Nina will result from substituting a gearbox in place of the second electric motor.

The Tesla S is a reasonably nice looking car and has very advanced tech. But even with a close-to-300 Mile range, the buyers would have to cross a major psychological barrier to give up the safety of an engine that runs on liquid fuel that could be replenished in a couple of minutes and rely completely on a battery that needs a couple of hours to charge.

I would also be concerned about how much power charging a 300-mile battery would draw. Homes in the US typically have a 200A electrical connection to the grid. To charge a massive battery like that in a reasonable amount of time you have to draw significant current, probably on the scale of 80A - 100A which would could overpower your electrical systems and require some serious wiring which may be beyond the capacity of an older home. I have seen what a 40A connector looks like and scaling that cable up by 2x or 2.5x would make it like a copper-filled fire hose, not exactly convenient to connect and disconnect every day. Which means that many people who get a Tesla S would opt for the smaller batteries (and have smaller range) just because they don't want to have to move next door to a power station or to update their grid connection just to be able to charge their cars at night.

I don't think the Fisker Nina and Tesla S are necessarily interchangeable. The ability to very rapidly refuel the Fisker Nina is going to be highly desirable (mainly as a security blanket) to folks who are fundamentally uneasy about the EV concept. Eventually, the need for the ICE will disappear but for the immediate future, Fisker's design will most likely have a lot broader appeal than Tesla's IMHO.

-- Fab.
 

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plugitin said:
Brian - Are you not the owner or originator of the Fisker "OWNERS" Club...? If you really feel the Fisker Karma seems like a $70k car with lipstick, then why did you put a deposit down on one in the first place...? I read your post and you flip - flop more than my younger sister in a shoe store.

I'm disappointed to hear your lack of faith or interest in the car, but enough already. Most of us here don't have the urge to drive 125k mph to the office. Most of us here are ready for a change....we want to give the Fisker Karma a shot. I have no problems with BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or Toyota (Lexus)...as I , like this board has probably owned some, if not all. them. However, We we do believe in the vision and passion of Henrk Fisker and team behind him. I personally love the Karma. I love the fact that I can drive 45 to 52 miles on battery as it fits my daily commute. I know as AONE and battery companies advance, I'll one day replace the existing battery with one that gets 100 to 200 miles per full charge. I'm ready to give OPEC the middle finger and and rid myself of foreign oil. You just wait until things escalate with Iran... You're looking at $150 oil again....perhaps more.
Look...I understand that the car may be out of your price range (or not) at this point....for that I hope you consider the Nina next year or 2013. What I have little tolerance for is your juvenile comments, especially as the OWNER of Fisker Owners Club. The harsh reality is that you don't know WTF you're talking about as it relates to the technology in this car. It is one thing to design games on an IPAD...another to build the Karma.
 

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Guys, I hear all of your comments on whether or not the Karma is "worth" the new price (and btw, let's not make this personal - no need to insult Brian's Mitsubishi Fab!)....but my big beef with Fisker is the lack of respect and communication with US the early adopters, aka Fisker's base.

Recall:
1. The price initially was $88K base (with a cost-free choice of colors like black or silver), and delivery was scheduled for 2009

2. Fisker pushed back delivery dates, and started to hint at price increases

3. Delivery dates slipped and slipped

4. Initial guidance on pricing was released for all trim levels as well as certain "extras" like exterior paint color

5. Fisker bumped prices across the board, including for deposit holders

6. Fisker delays again delivery dates, after delivering a subpar roadshow test car

7. Fisker bumps prices and has yet to deliver a single customer car

8. Fisker says "order now, trust us, OR ELSE...we'll raise the price on you"

So what we're really talking about here is an increase from $88K to $106K ($103K + $3K for paint), or roughly 20%.

It's one thing for an established brand with deep pockets like BMW or Mercedes or Lexus to debut a new car with brand-spankin new tech and say "trust us" its something entirely different for a brand new car company with a spotty track record and poor client communication to do so

It's just not cricket. As another poster says, who bumps prices on the eve of customer deliveries??? You'd never ever imagine Apple doing such a thing - if anything, they'd reduce the price (everyone remember the original iPhone and ensuing price drop?)


Bottom line: Fisker, you have yet to prove yourself to those of us who want to love you most. What's more, these boneheaded PR blunders do little to inspire confidence in the maturity and clarity of your management team (or at least, your marketing department). Stop the juvenile behavior. Time to grow up and act right.

PS - Fab, I disagree with one of your points - raising the price doesn't mean that Fisker has confidence they can deliver products of quality at larger volumes - rather the opposite, if they are having problems delivering volume (e.g. due to need to hand paint certain colors or use manual velcro to secure the hood), then raising the price reduces overall demand (econ 101), thus requiring less production volume. It is frankly a red flag in my book.

PPS - If this is just a greed grab on Fisker's behalf, then shame on them! Fisker did not "bear all the risk" of this development project. Investors and depositors bore the risk, as did US tax payers (who funded in part, the final R&D on the Karma)
 

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SoCalGuy said:
BillyO said:
SoCalGuy said:
what is FIsker trying to pull here? Scare deposit holders into buying or "being priced out" forever? Seems like a bubble in another asset class from a few years ago!
I guess if you are one of the 3000 deposit holders who have waited patiently, they are telling you to come pick a configuration or pay a higher price.
It seems strange to me that in the last year, the quoted number of deposit holders has never changed.

BillyO
It's bad enough they raised prices $8K on us before and also charge us for things like exterior paint ($3K).... other companies would have grandfathered existing depositors into the original pricing scheme... or offer some other free upgrade/credits... ala Tesla or McLaren... but not Fisker. This is really frustrating and I just may cancel out of principle.
Well I got my Matchbox car, Bamboo memory stick, and a copy of a sketch signed by Fisker and I am envious as hell of the guys who are taking delivery in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to pay $100K plus to get my car. It has been frustrating but after 3 years, 3 or 4 more weeks won't kill me.

BillyO
 

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As it has been mentioned before, I must mention that the first price bump from $88k, included the solar roof going from optional to standard equipment which, I believe, was valued at around $7500.
 

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kabalah70 said:
As it has been mentioned before, I must mention that the first price bump from $88k, included the solar roof going from optional to standard equipment which, I believe, was valued at around $7500.
$5,000 - that said, I wish it were optional =)
 

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brian said:
Wow, that's bad. The car simply isn't worth that much money. It was very difficult to justify at the current price, but there's no way I could recommend it for the new price. Good thing the price increase doesn't apply to existing orders, but I think this will seriously reduce the number of Karmas on the road next year.

-Brian
No car is "worth" what you pay for it. The depreciation can be slower for certain models and occasionally (Ford GT40) a car will appreciate but that's extremely rare. A '57 Chevy by todays performance standards sucks but if you want a good one it'll cost you as much as a Lexus. In fact the more expensive a car is new the greater it depreciates in the first 5-10 years. It's possible the 3rd or 4th generation of electric cars will be much less expensive than the Karma. Heck, the first plasma TVs were $20-30K. It's a luxury not an investment.
 

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You know, as useless as the solar panel actually is I really like it. It was a huge selling point for the car for me just because of the geek factor. A few weeks ago I worked out the math on it, and calculated that if you left it out in the sun all day and lived near the equator then you'd get about $8-12 worth of free electricity from it per year (by Austin Energy electric rates at least). Therefore, it would take 300 years to break even on the cost (assuming that the wholesale price of the panel was ~$3000).

Regardless, I probably would not have ordered the car if it didn't have it :)

-Brian
 

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I think the real bottom line for me on all this is that in the two years that I have been a deposit holder, they have not done ONE thing that has exceeded expectations. Not one. And the fact that my dealer calls me to get the latest info is a sad state of affairs.

I actually have a deposit on this car because I like how it looks, not because of the eco portion. The performance was barely adequate (and has gotten worse) and my confidence in receiving a quality car (I.e,, not a shop queen) is dwindling.

I ended up buying a new car in July because I was fed up with waiting. I may still get it, but a winter delivery really stinks in New Engkand. Of course, my production date hasn't been "reset" recently, so I may actually get a car! My dealer finally got their demo model last week, so I'll get to test drive the closest thing to what I might receive.

I truly am waiting with baited breath to see if the Karma will catch on and sell here in the US. BTW, I'll gladly sell mine for a quick profit to anyone who is really dying to get in this car sooner vs. later![/b]
 
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