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I'm going to be a bad moderator and repost something I said in a tire discussion to a new thread.


Last weekend Karma Automotive was in Atlanta for on their Driven By Intention tour, introducing the Karma Revero into select markets. I participated on Sunday and thought I would share my perspectives. @Fabulist, you'll be disappointed to know that I didn't take any video and hardly took any pictures.

The Experience
Interestingly, Karma Automotive set up their headquarters for the "Driven by Intention" experience in a wedding-style tent on the grounds of an upscale hotel immediately next to the mall where the enormous Caffeine and Octane car show is held every month, and the day of my appointment was also the day of the show. Apparently the Karma folks did an 8 car conga-line of Revero's though the 2,000+ car show with 10,000+ spectators. I didn't go to the show but apparently @AlJOHN was there in his Karma.

When I got to the "Experience" the valet parked my car in a lot with other Experience participants. That lot looked like a car show itself with a couple of Fisker Karmas, some German and Italian exotics and a gorgeous Mercedes Maybach saloon. There were even stragglers from the C&O show who wandered over to take pictures.

I was greeted by a representative of Karma Automotive, who I gathered was a hired gun for the event. He was local and although he was well briefed it was pretty clear I was more familiar with the Karma and with the Revero than he was. He signed me in via iPad, provided some fancy bottled water and we made small talk. He was hewing closely to the marketing message of the Revero being a unique car for unique people who demand a higher standard of luxury, environmental responsibility and innovation. It was a theme they returned to repeatedly. After a few minutes they walked me and a couple other participants behind a divider in the tent to a second area with a car under covers and a large video monitor. Another person provided a somewhat more polished version of the marketing positioning and then showed us an overview video of the car, followed by a video interview with the artist who makes the hand-painted Revero badges (which, if you haven't seen it, is pretty interesting. I'm sure it's on YouTube) At this point they drew back the covers to display: A Fisker Karma! Oops, I mean a Karma Revero. Of course, to the uninitiated it will be hard to tell the difference.

The Car
The car looked great, of course, and they pointed out some of the subtle differences such as the revised front end (which allegedly will help with speed-bump and curb clearance, but looked the same height to me) and the front facing camera behind the rear-view mirror which is used for Active Cruise Control or Lane Keeping depending on who you ask. The car will also feature pre-conditioning (hooray!) and a phone app which will allow you to see and do things with the car (also hooray). The car now offers DC Fast Charging via a CCS DC plug where the J1772 connector is now. CCS is what's used by the BMW i3, the Chevy Bolt and VW EVs, among others. It allows for J1772 Level 2 charging or high-power Level 3 CCS charging using the same port on the car. As an aside, they kept referring to DC fast charging as "Supercharging" which I think is a bad idea; The Revero cannot use the Tesla SuperCharger, and I suspect Tesla has some claim on the term, but they were consistently referring to it as Supercharging.

Inside the car looked very similar to the Fisker Karma. The most notable difference, by far, is the driver's gauge cluster and the CIU. The gauge cluster is now just a big screen which can show all sorts of things, including a color moving-map display, along with speed and other driving info. The CIU has been well discussed and while it's the same size as our current unit it is better in every way. It is incredibly responsive, looks good, the backup camera is fullscreen and HD and includes guidance overlays, and the UI seems well though out. You can change the temp and fan speed from the same screen! You can even change it while looking at the Nav or the Radio. Even the solar power output readout works. I didn't play much music and I didn't sync my phone. I did use the Nav and it is way, way better than the nav in our Fiskers, but it's still nothing to write home about. It has traffic, it's in color and it scrolls smoothly, but it's nowhere near best in class. The car will also allegedly have both Apple Car Play and Android Auto support at launch.

I should mention that they were showing pre-production cars. They had 8 there total, one in every color (I drove #6 ). There's still much to do on build quality. Some of the panel gaps were truly ridiculous, and the car I drove had a rub in the wheel well when turning at full lock. According to Joost this has been fixed and they just started actual serial production of customer cars this week (with real VINs) and the 65 or so cars they currently have are being used as testers (3,000,000 miles and counting), demos and eventually most will be crashed for CARB compliance reasons. All of the demo cars had the same California license plate number, which was surprising.

The car has a 1kWh bigger battery, and is allegedly more efficient, so they are expecting that drivers will see an honest 50 miles of EV-only range, and more if you baby it. Interestingly, they are sticking with the Fisker Karma 32 mile EPA Monroney Sticker range for the Revero. I think this is because they don't intend to fully re-certify through the EPA. They will have sufficiently low emissions to meet the European tax thresholds, but according to Joost they don't intend to sell in Europe anytime soon. I took that to mean "a couple of years"

After the static show-and-tell was over we headed out for a drive.

Driving Impressions
Maybe it's for the same reason that new sneakers make you feel like you can run faster, but the car seemed quicker than my Karma. The car now has three driving modes: Stealth and Sport, like we have now, and Sustain. Sustain can be engaged at any state-of-charge and simply uses power created by the ICE genset to power the vehicle, leaving the battery level untouched. The ICE genset only creates 175KW, so the performance will be reduced relative to Sport (battery + ICE) or even stealth (the battery can put out 200KW I believe) but for its intended purpose of distance cruising on highways to save all the battery for destination it should be great. There are also four re-gen modes, replacing Hill mode: None, Regen 1, Regen 2 and Regen 3. Each introduces progressively more deceleration when you lift off the accelerator pedal but even Regen 3 was less dramatic than my wife's i3. I expect, but didn't confirm, that the Revero still has brake-based regen too, where the first .25G of braking deceleration comes from regen.

Overall the car drove very nicely, and very familiarly. Steering and handling were good and the acceleration brisk. I was on city streets for the most part so I couldn't flog it, but I did what I could with stoplight launches in stealth and a highway on-ramp and merge in sport with my foot on the mat. The exhaust note seemed quieter than the Karma but it's still a weird and not entirely pleasant sound.

In most other respects it was like driving a Karma. If I didn't look at the CIU, and didn't notice the different interior color, I could easily believe I was driving my car. That's not a bad thing; I like the way the Karma drives.

We drove from the Experience tent about 5 miles through the 'burbs to a very modern and beautiful house. My guide went a bit overboard drawing the obvious parallels between the modern, clean and exciting architecture for discerning people and the Karma brand message. We parked and went inside the house, which was truly spectacular, where there were two chefs preparing fancy morsels for us to snack on while we make small talk. Representatives of the local Karma dealership (and former Fisker dealership) were there as well. One interesting touch were these eight decorative stones on a mantle in the house that looked like interior decoration but were actually provided by Karma Automotive - they were in the eight exterior colors of the car. In fact, they had two sets; one indoors and one in a window so you could see how it looks in direct and indirect light. The color choices are interesting; there's no more Deep Ocean, which is too bad because it's a spectacular color, but there is a true Red which looked great. There's a couple other interesting colors, all with California-inspired names. I don't know if it'd actually select it, but the baby-blue "Balboa Blue" color really grew on me.

Leaving the house we headed back, this time I opted for the highway to give it the beans (well, what beans the normal heavy traffic allows) and my guide walked me through a post-experience survey.

Overall Impressions
I couldn't shake the impression that this is what Fisker should have done in the first place - take the time to get it right and deliver a sorted car. Karma Automotive does not seem rushed at all; I pressed and Joost wouldn't commit to customer delivery dates at all, and made it clear they are taking the long view. He said that they were already sold out through next year, and that dealers were getting allocations (50 cars for Atlanta). He said the first 20 or 30 cars would be going to dealers, then to investors and owners and finally to paying customers. They said 800 or 900 cars a year was the target for now.

I liked the Revero, It is definitely an improvement over the Fisker Karma. I'm just not sure it's $80,000 of improvement. Thanks to this forum, Fisker of Atlanta and @FiskerPhilly I have a pretty solid car that looks and drives virtually identically to the $130,000+ 2017 Karma Revero.


I'll be happy to answer any questions here or via private message.

Brent
 

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Last weekend Karma Automotive was in Atlanta for on their Driven By Intention tour, introducing the Karma Revero into select markets. I participated on Sunday and thought I would share my perspectives. @Fabulist, you'll be disappointed to know that I didn't take any video and hardly took any pictures.

I'll be happy to answer any questions here or via private message.

Brent
I was at the event Friday at Mason Art Gallery, Lots of pics on my GF Instagram and a few on mine. I can post more pictures of both event. I was at the Sunday drive for 12:30pm and I saw the Maybach and talked to Joost about it. I must have missed you or walked by you. If you saw my Laguna, I was there. We had 2 cars, one for me and one for my GF.

These cars they had are pre-prod of 67 cars that will all be DESTOYED! Very detailed response and I don't care to go into the experience that much typing it out. I will say at the end of the day they want to get all Fiskers under there control (trade-in) like Tesla and control the re-sale market. They said they hoped to drive the value up over the next 2 years. I was told $70k-$80K range...which is what I want as a Fisker owner.

EOD it's not worth upgrading to a $138K Revero. It doesn't have enough upgrades for current owners.

SIDE NOTE, we will get cup holder inserts to make them bigger!
 

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I personally feel they aren't telling the truth about the sales they supposedly have made . The dealers that I still stay in touch with have mentioned the sales just aren't there . I agree this is the car we needed back in 2011 . If the Karma was what the Revero is we would be in a totally different boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was at the event Friday at Mason Art Gallery, Lots of pics on my GF Instagram and a few on mine. I can post more pictures of both event. I was at the Sunday drive for 12:30pm and I saw the Maybach and talked to Joost about it. I must have missed you or walked by you. If you saw my Laguna, I was there. We had 2 cars, one for me and one for my GF.
I saw your Laguna an even had a chat with my Karma Automotive handler about it. Looks like I just missed you; I was in the 11:45am class.

Brent
 

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@LongPalmBJ good update. I was at both the Friday event, Caffeine and Octane as you mentioned. They were sure they would be able to get a Karma Revero there so I took some brochures and business cards and had the "paint" samples for folks to see. I had "clayed" my Karma and it sparkled well in the sun light. Karma Auto was able to bring a Red Revero in for a while, and also had a good crowd.

Hopefully, the Caffeine and Octane event gained some interest in the Revero. Although not for me right now (same reason LongPalm), I want to see it succeed for Classic for their staying the course here in Atlanta. I will be taking my Karma to the shows in the Spring to do a small part to help in the awareness.
 

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@LonePalmBJ: Brent, thank you for the detailed description. I am looking forward to a test drive in Northern California when Karma has their show-and-tell event here. It's great that Karma has updated the CIU, and that they have not downgraded the excellent handling of the Karma. I would be particularly interested in any improvement in performance. Obviusly, since the battery is essentially the same size, any improvement in performance would reduce the EV range of the car. That may be one of the reasons that Karma is still using the existing 32 Mile EPA EV range estimate.

Thanks again for the report. No worries regarding the video. I am sure one will surface eventually.
 

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It seems to me that to build the near identical car to the 5 year old car is a flawed model. There is zero incentive to buy a new one. If the car was launched with an refreshed body and upgrades rather than just the CIU I think it would be a desirable car. But to still have no delivery dates nor any timeline is inexcusable. I sold my Fisker and went and bought something different which was more than a new Revero - I would have gladly bought a Revero if it wasn't a 5 year old Karma with a new CIU.

Just thinking out loud here.

Love the car too but it needs to get updated all around
 

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... I will say at the end of the day they want to get all Fiskers under there control (trade-in) like Tesla and control the re-sale market. They said they hoped to drive the value up over the next 2 years. I was told $70k-$80K range...which is what I want as a Fisker owner.
Shows a basic lack of understanding of sales and economics. You really can't control a market that's - ECON 101 (supply and demand). I remember when Cadillac tried it back in the 80's with the Allante' artifically trying to peg the cars trade-in value with Mercedes SL and it flopped and they gave up. The auctions are a true assessment and will dictate the value for the most part.
 

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@LonePalmBJ: Brent, thank you for the detailed description. I am looking forward to a test drive in Northern California when Karma has their show-and-tell event here. It's great that Karma has updated the CIU, and that they have not downgraded the excellent handling of the Karma. I would be particularly interested in any improvement in performance. Obviusly, since the battery is essentially the same size, any improvement in performance would reduce the EV range of the car. That may be one of the reasons that Karma is still using the existing 32 Mile EPA EV range estimate.

Thanks again for the report. No worries regarding the video. I am sure one will surface eventually.
It's does DC charge 80% in 20-30 minutes and can do 32Amp charging so you get 1.5 second improvement in perf. It is noticeable, but nothing extreme. I am still very disappointed it has a the same 50 mile range..be it new technology iron something for longevity.

5 year warranty, free maintenance! 8 year on the battery.
 

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Shows a basic lack of understanding of sales and economics. You really can't control a market that's - ECON 101 (supply and demand). I remember when Cadillac tried it back in the 80's with the Allante' artifically trying to peg the cars trade-in value with Mercedes SL and it flopped and they gave up. The auctions are a true assessment and will dictate the value for the most part.
I'm not disagreeing with you, however there are only about 2500 Fisker OTR. That makes it a lot easier to control the resale market. I hope they can do it.
 

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I'm not disagreeing with you, however there are only about 2500 Fisker OTR. That makes it a lot easier to control the resale market. I hope they can do it.

What would be the point if they are not upgrading the old cars? Are they going to crush them or something so people will have to buy the Revero? If the upgrades on the Revero are good enough should not really be much competition. The people buying old Karma's are likely not the same customers who will purchase the new cars. I think that is a flawed premise. I can't imagine they have sold many cars at this point.
 

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Wow 130K for that? Still 50 miles of range? If they'd have had this car 5 years ago and priced it at 90-something K, then Fisker would still be a company. I bet they're lying about how many they've sold, and I think the future of this enterprise is bleak.
 

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I went to the "Driven by Intention" experience in LA. In my opinion, taking a test drive to a beautiful modern house with a chef creating small plates doesn't sell cars. These guys really seem to think a hand painted medallion and a few other very modest changes are going to differentiate the Revero from a Fisker Karma. The bottom line is if it looks like a Fisker and drives like a Fisker, it is going to be viewed as Fisker 1.1 (Not even 2.0.) The biggest problem is establishing dealerships and providing service. Rusnak of Pasadena is completely incompetent and dishonest (more on that in a forthcoming post) and Sterling BMW in Newport Beach is gone as of the end of this month. So much for a presence in Southern California, the car capital of the world (where, not surprisingly, Fisker sold more vehicles than anywhere else by a large margin.)
 

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Great post and wish I'd thought to check here for a read before doing the "experience" in Miami, which worked out well for me since it fell on a school holiday (11/11 Veteran's day) and my kids like cars.

In Miami we met at an art studio on the north end of the trendy Wynwood district (which was in the news recently for the wrong reasons: Zika virus). We enjoyed some pastries before seeing the video and the dramatic unveiling. Nice to put a face to the name "Joost", and asked him a few questions about the discussions here on CIU software freedom (no dice there).

We motored to a residence in or near Sunset Harbor (been south of there many times, but never through the gates). The car seemed slightly more responsive, but because it was also slightly quieter, it was hard to notice. The similarity to the 2012 was remarkable, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone tried to make some money by retrofitting a 2012 with a new display and rims and trying to double (triple) their money on it.

Echo the comment on the panel gaps - the one on the trunk was heinous, which was ironic given a lot of talk about an expensive machine KA had bought to make tolerances tight (but not on these test cars obviously).

The other note I'd add is that I was told 900 cars in the next THREE years, not per year. I was so surprised I asked about this 2 times, and once to Joost, so it seems there will be less Reveros when all is said and done than there are 2012's currently - wow! After that run of 900, the idea is to have 5 or so new designs and retire the revero/2012.

The other shocking thing to hear is that they are running at a headcount of 800 employees. 800 employees to make 900 cars in the next 3 years (nearly one car per employee) means a high burn rate on cash, so it will be a real test to the patience and pockets of "uncle Wu".

Anyway, as a 2012 owner, I was interested in the new car and company, and happy to have received the invitation for a few hours of food and driving. If anyone asks me about my 2012, I'll be happy to point them to KA for a 2017/18 (and make my own car look more valuable in the process).
 

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Great post and wish I'd thought to check here for a read before doing the "experience" in Miami, which worked out well for me since it fell on a school holiday (11/11 Veteran's day) and my kids like cars.

In Miami we met at an art studio on the north end of the trendy Wynwood district (which was in the news recently for the wrong reasons: Zika virus). We enjoyed some pastries before seeing the video and the dramatic unveiling. Nice to put a face to the name "Joost", and asked him a few questions about the discussions here on CIU software freedom (no dice there).

We motored to a residence in or near Sunset Harbor (been south of there many times, but never through the gates). The car seemed slightly more responsive, but because it was also slightly quieter, it was hard to notice. The similarity to the 2012 was remarkable, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone tried to make some money by retrofitting a 2012 with a new display and rims and trying to double (triple) their money on it.

Echo the comment on the panel gaps - the one on the trunk was heinous, which was ironic given a lot of talk about an expensive machine KA had bought to make tolerances tight (but not on these test cars obviously).

The other note I'd add is that I was told 900 cars in the next THREE years, not per year. I was so surprised I asked about this 2 times, and once to Joost, so it seems there will be less Reveros when all is said and done than there are 2012's currently - wow! After that run of 900, the idea is to have 5 or so new designs and retire the revero/2012.

The other shocking thing to hear is that they are running at a headcount of 800 employees. 800 employees to make 900 cars in the next 3 years (nearly one car per employee) means a high burn rate on cash, so it will be a real test to the patience and pockets of "uncle Wu".

Anyway, as a 2012 owner, I was interested in the new car and company, and happy to have received the invitation for a few hours of food and driving. If anyone asks me about my 2012, I'll be happy to point them to KA for a 2017/18 (and make my own car look more valuable in the process).
More importantly how was the turn out .
 
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