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This is the most comprehensive and information rich article about the Revero I've read to date. From today's LA Times. Click the link for the article with photos: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-karma-revero-drive-20170516-htmlstory.html

Karma Revero hybrid super car rises from Fisker ashes
By Charles Fleming

May 16, 2017 12:00 PM

Rising from the ashes of designer Henrik Fisker’s failed car company, the first units of the 2018 Karma Revero hybrid electric luxury super cars have rolled off the Moreno Valley factory floor and onto Southern California roadways.

Ten went to dealer showrooms around the U.S. and Canada, where company officers hope they will inspire buyers.

Another 10 went to Laguna Beach, where on Monday they made their test-drive debuts before an avidly curious motoring press.

The Karma Revero is the new company’s first vehicle. Built largely from the platform Fisker envisioned before his company crashed and burned after producing a 2012 model year Fisker Karma, the new car is sleek, speedy and almost silent.

Propelled by a twin-motor powertrain, the hybrid machine gets a promised 50 miles of all-electric range and a total of 300 miles of combined gas and electric range.

And it gets there in real elegance, each car a bespoke-seeming, handmade, custom creation.

The paint, presented in names like Pacific Fog, Balboa Blue and Borrego Black, is deep and rich. The leather interior, in red Palisades Sport, chocolate Canyon or tan Crystal Cove, is supple and luxurious. The massive brake calipers can be had in bright red, orange, blue or yellow, against Dune Twist or Diamond Facet wheels. The Karma Revero hood and trunk badges are, literally, hand-painted.

What comes around, goes around ...

Karma’s designers based the new car on Fisker’s beloved but beleaguered Fisker Karma.

They did that with Chinese money. All assets of the Fisker company were purchased in 2014 by Wanxiang Group, a Chinese auto parts giant that also owns A123, the battery company that produced power packs for the Fisker cars.

The purchase included enough spare parts to finish a few Karma Fisker vehicles, plus the Fisker design for what became the Revero.

About 1,200 of the original Karma cars are still known to exist, with an equal number of owners still operating the cars.

That gave the Revero engineers an opportunity to study mistakes and correct them.

Looming large among the changes: silence. The Revero’s twin motors, in all-electric Stealth mode, propel the car in almost complete silence, but for a softly audible jet-engine whine.

When the gas motor kicks in to power the generator, in Sustain mode, a light rumble emerges from under the hood. When both battery and gas motor generator are working together, in Sport mode, the car makes only slightly more noise.

Handling is swift and sure, thanks in part to a self-leveling rear suspension set-up modeled on the system found in McLaren supercars. A slight inside camber to the front wheels tightens the steering, and helps the Revero hold the road.

Swinging through canyon turns east of Laguna, the car felt magnificently nimble, capable of exceeding the speed limit on even the most technical roads by a factor of two or three — though not with an amateur at the wheel.

The power, in all three modes, comes on gently but firmly.

Supercar buffs will be disappointed to know the Revero’s zero to 60 mph rate, though a second faster than the previous Karma, is 5.4 seconds. (Top speed is electronically limited to 125 mph.)

And anyone looking for a bargain may be sad to see the price of the new car is $130,000, up considerably from the $103,000 base price for the Fisker Karma.

But what the car lacks in acceleration it gains in elegance.

“This is a GT,” said Joost de Vries, Karma’s vice president of sales and service. “It’s not a McLaren. It’s not trying to be. It’s a touring car.”

Karma executives suggested that the customer likely to buy a Revero may already have a McLaren, in fact — or a Ferrari, or a Porsche — capable of breaking land speed records. The Karma will be luxurious and highly unique additions to existing super car stables, they say.

The Revero has many attributes, some not readily apparent to the eye.
  • Though the frame is all aluminum, the total weight of the car, fueled, is 5,400 pounds.
  • The plug-in hybrid system will recharge to 80% full in 24 minutes at a DC Fast Charging station, or 3 hours at a Level II station, or 10 hours on a home 120 volt system.
  • The Revero accelerates from zero to 60 in 5.4 seconds in Sport mode, 7.2 seconds in Sustain mode and 6.9 seconds in all-electric Stealth mode.
  • The gas-powered generator makes 235 horsepower; the twin electric motors make 403 horsepower.
  • The rear-wheel drive energy comes from a mid-mounted lithium ion battery, part of which is actually visible through the car’s center console.
  • Stopping power, through the six-piston Brembo calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear, is assisted by an electric regenerative braking system, which can be tuned to three settings.
Sales and marketing challenges

What is the Revero trying to be, then? The company prospectus declares, among other things, “This is not Tesla,” and identifies Karma as “an ultra-luxury brand.”

But the automotive world may be dubious. Car collector and guru Jay Leno, who Karma executives said saw the Revero at a recent Beverly Hills event, dismissed it last week while being interviewed at his Burbank garage.

“It’s just a Volt in a tuxedo, isn’t it?” Leno joked.

At the $130,000 price point, the likely customer is male and 55 to 60 years old, said Karma’s chief revenue and marketing officer, James Taylor. That customer already owns several other vehicles and is likely to meet his first Karma at a dealership, where the Revero shares showroom space with a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Maserati or Aston Martin.

A certain number of early Revero buyers will be current Fisker Karma owners, Taylor said.

Some will remember the Karma legacy, and perhaps will have forgotten the company’s ignominious end.

Others will be struck by the pure beauty of the design.

“Of course it’s all subjective, but no one is going to say this is an ugly car,” Taylor said.

At car shows and concourse events where the Revero prototypes have been shown, Taylor said, almost everyone asks the same questions:

1. It’s so beautiful, but what is it? (Sometimes a car buff will say, “I have one of those,” Taylor said. He usually responds by saying, “No, you don’t. They don’t exist.”)

2. Is that a solar roof? Do other cars have them? (The solar panels built into the top of the car, unique to the Revero, are capable of recharging the battery at the rate of about 1 mile of range per day. So it’s more a unique talking point than a huge energy saver.)

3. And it’s electric? (No, Taylor tells them. It’s a hybrid. You can drive on gas, or drive on electric, and plug in the car to recharge, just like a Chevy Volt, say, or a Porsche Panamera hybrid.)

At some events, Taylor said, prospective customers have been eager to become owners — on the spot. One woman had her checkbook out, he said, and was ready to put down $280,000 for two. She was frustrated when Taylor told her the cars were not ready for delivery yet.

But the Fisker background may give the Revero an edge in a competitive luxury car market. The car will be compared not only to luxury vehicles from historic English and European brands, but as a California-made hybrid, it will be spoken of in the same breath as Tesla and other forward-looking car companies.

“Everyone we compete with is 100 years old,” de Vries said. “So how do you compete with that? Unlike Faraday, or Lucent, or Nio, we actually have a customer base.”

Reveros currently are coming off the Karma production line at a rate of one a day. About 30 pre-orders are being filled, starting sometime in the next two weeks, Taylor said.

Though the modern Moreno Valley factory and its 175-person workforce are capable of churning out many times more than that — up to as many as 5,000 cars a year without requiring any new construction — Taylor and other Karma executives stressed they are more concerned with quality than quantity, for now.

“We truly are still a start-up,” Taylor said. “Our cars are now great, and they’re now available. But we have to do this the right way.”

The first vehicles will be electronically monitored by a 24-hour-a-day “war room,” executives said, where engineers will be looking for any fail codes and trying to detect any trends. Some of these will be fixable through software updates made over the air, without requiring cars to return to dealerships for service.

That will mean more investment from the company’s Chinese owner, Wanxiang Group. So far, Karma executives said, the firm has been patient with outgoing cash flow.

“A lot of people think the investment ends with the launch of the vehicle,” said Karma President and Chief Operations Officer Dennis Dougherty. “In fact, that’s when it can get really expensive. So far, the only thing we’ve been told is, ‘Don’t embarrass me.’ ”
 

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Very interesting and a glimpse of the success so far, at least in their ability to market and pre-sell. A couple of extracts are very telling :

"A certain number of early Revero buyers will be current Fisker Karma owners, Taylor said."
and
"About 30 pre-orders are being filled, starting sometime in the next two weeks, Taylor said."

Do pre-orders include those that the dealers have allocated for their showrooms or actual new buyers? I wonder how these initial numbers compare to those from the launch of the original Fisker Karma?

I wish them all the best in the hope that they'll start to pay more attention to our (current owners) needs, but maybe they don't need our money yet. I might have been a perspective Revero buyer but they lost me when they decided not to continue supporting our cars beyond spare parts. I still can't get my head around the business decision to upset your most obvious target market. Because of this I don't feel that I'd be supported after the car had shipped and the honeymoon was over. I hope I'm wrong. We'll see if things change now that they actually have cars to sell. If they can't find enough 'new' buyers, maybe they'll have to come back to us and try to win back our trust.
 

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The Orange County Business Journal stated they had 80 presales...shenanigans already.
 

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I don't think any car manufacturer would do research to support a car launched in 2011. At some point they have to move on. Spending money on research and engineering so they can do free upgrades on customers cars does not make business sense. Also remember, a lot of the current Karma owners have bought their cars second hand after knowing the car had no warranty. I certainly do not think Karma has mistreated me one bit. I think they have gone over and above what I could have expected.
 

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Is there a difference between orders and pre-sales? I'm wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think any car manufacturer would do research to support a car launched in 2011. At some point they have to move on. Spending money on research and engineering so they can do free upgrades on customers cars does not make business sense. Also remember, a lot of the current Karma owners have bought their cars second hand after knowing the car had no warranty. I certainly do not think Karma has mistreated me one bit. I think they have gone over and above what I could have expected.
I feel the same way.
 

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@Sigurd - I also don't feel mistreated in any way. In fact, I'm very grateful they're here and able to provide us with spare parts. I just think they could have handled PR a little better :)
 

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I don't think any car manufacturer would do research to support a car launched in 2011. At some point they have to move on. Spending money on research and engineering so they can do free upgrades on customers cars does not make business sense. Also remember, a lot of the current Karma owners have bought their cars second hand after knowing the car had no warranty. I certainly do not think Karma has mistreated me one bit. I think they have gone over and above what I could have expected.
I wish they would move on but sadly this is not the case. See federal case 8:2016cv00530
 

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I don't think any car manufacturer would do research to support a car launched in 2011. At some point they have to move on. Spending money on research and engineering so they can do free upgrades on customers cars does not make business sense. Also remember, a lot of the current Karma owners have bought their cars second hand after knowing the car had no warranty. I certainly do not think Karma has mistreated me one bit. I think they have gone over and above what I could have expected.
I somewhat disagree. Audi still provides support and software updates for my 2008 R8. Granted Karma Automotive took over after bankruptcy so I will give them a little slack. But after attending meet and greets, focus groups etc... updating the infotainment system was always a hot topic. They ignored this completely and gave us a flakey system update instead. Then after going for an "extended warranty" pre-purchase check I was told my battery was failing and I needed to spend $4000 to repair it and another $4000 to purchase the warranty. I had my battery checked by two independent entities who are highly regarded on this forum and I was told my battery was one of the strongest they have seen. My car is still running very well. I'm not a huge fan of Karma Automotive.
 

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I'm not hurt by KA, not at all, I'm just struggling to find the business reasoning. I understand that is costs money to offer support, but it also costs to market and sell.

Upon purchasing another company last year, I decided to support all the products made by the previous entity because it provided a customer base who were very happy to feel wanted. Sure, it's cost quite a bit, but less than sales and marketing to find an equal number of new customers. This is just my experience though, not necessarily true in every situation.

For KA, there are ~1200 of us Karma owners of which I dare say more than a few would be willing to upgrade if it had merit, so I wonder what the cost of sales and marketing would be to generate 1200 prospective buyers elsewhere? Is that number higher or lower than the cost of support? And what does that do to brand image?

They've made it known that finances are not a concern for them, so why not invest a little and make the launch a huge success with all us Karma owners cheering them on thanks to all the great support and bright future they have to offer us. There's a long list of folks on a petition that I don't think will be going to the party, which is a shame. It could have been different. No harm done but I think they missed a good opportunity - purely from a business perspective.

I could be answering my own question here, but maybe KA have already run these numbers and because there may not be enough merit in the new vehicle for a significant number of Karma owners to upgrade, that the expense of supporting us couldn't be warranted i.e. If we as a target market were deemed to have a low potential of being future Revero owners, then that would explain things.
 

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I'm not hurt by KA, not at all, I'm just struggling to find the business reasoning. I understand that is costs money to offer support, but it also costs to market and sell.

Upon purchasing another company last year, I decided to support all the products made by the previous entity because it provided a customer base who were very happy to feel wanted. Sure, it's cost quite a bit, but less than sales and marketing to find an equal number of new customers. This is just my experience though, not necessarily true in every situation.

For KA, there are ~1200 of us Karma owners of which I dare say more than a few would be willing to upgrade if it had merit, so I wonder what the cost of sales and marketing would be to generate 1200 prospective buyers elsewhere? Is that number higher or lower than the cost of support? And what does that do to brand image?

They've made it known that finances are not a concern for them, so why not invest a little and make the launch a huge success with all us Karma owners cheering them on thanks to all the great support and bright future they have to offer us. There's a long list of folks on a petition that I don't think will be going to the party, which is a shame. It could have been different. No harm done but I think they missed a good opportunity - purely from a business perspective.

I could be answering my own question here, but maybe KA have already run these numbers and because there may not be enough merit in the new vehicle for a significant number of Karma owners to upgrade, that the expense of supporting us couldn't be warranted i.e. If we as a target market were deemed to have a low potential of being future Revero owners, then that would explain things.
To me it is quite obvious they want every single 2012 owner to purchase a Revero, the easiest way for them to do that is to not provide upgrades for the 2012 cars (and try to superficially distance the gap between the 2012 Karma and Revero). BL530 was essentially a disaster in that it removed battery balancing and caused many issues for owners. BL53x still has its own set of issues that Karma introduced (i.e. flash ready etc)- so from that perspective they actually introduced new issues- that never existed previously.


By supporting owners and the 2012 cars with updates they essentially cannibalize their Revero marketshare- in reality they could have easily offered upgrade packages for the 2012 cars, thrown them down the same line as the Revero and charged a premium for it. Further many of the spare parts they have are only worth scrap so it is better to monetize it by offering sales/service for existing cars rather than scrap it and move on.
 

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@PowerSource - The strategy you suggest makes sense, it's just a different approach to market, I guess. It maybe a challenge but I think there's a way to better support the original vehicles without significantly cannibalizing future market though - a careful balancing act.

My preference is to fully support customer's needs, come what may, then rely on the loyalty earned to create new sales based on reputation of a great product AND great support. If they really believe in their product, I think they should fully embrace the original design and it's owners. Right now KA doesn't have a reputation and needs to earn a good one. Time will tell.
 

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I am new here (as you can tell by me post count), and as such, ignorant about the Karma and its systems, but I am trying to learn about it the best I can through this forum and surfing the web. I may be talking out of my a$$, but it seems to me the Revero isn't that different from the Karma in its engineering. As such, I can't figure out why they haven't utilized newer ideas/battery technology (if there is a thing) to gain better performance and range in the ballpark of the Tesla S. I just looked at Tesla's website, and they are touting their S model's range at over 300 miles and acceleration performance much better than the Revero. While the Karma is such a beautiful car with the Revero not far behind, Revero's practicality compared to the Tesla is six years behind the times. Am I missing something? If so, please edumacate me. Thank you!
 

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t seems to me the Revero isn't that different from the Karma in its engineering. As such, I can't figure out why they haven't utilized newer ideas/battery technology (if there is a thing) to gain better performance and range in the ballpark of the Tesla S. .... Am I missing something? If so, please edumacate me. Thank you!


Short answer: Yes, you are missing the following highly relevant piece of information: The same investors who bought Fisker Automotive (Now Karma) out of bankruptcy also bought A123, the company that made the original HV battery for the Karma, It would be awfully embarrassing if Karma went to someone else, like Tesla for example, for batteries. Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but it is unfortunately the real answer.
 

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^^^

Thank you, Fab! Me thinks if I was the new owner of FA and A123, I would have developed a better battery for my new car to compete prior to me marketing it. But what do I know... :)
 

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I just looked at Tesla's website, and they are touting their S model's range at over 300 miles and acceleration performance much better than the Revero. While the Karma is such a beautiful car with the Revero not far behind, Revero's practicality compared to the Tesla is six years behind the times. Am I missing something? If so, please edumacate me. Thank you!
Welcome! Since you asked...
You are also missing the fact that the Revero is not trying to get 300 miles on electric range. Unlike the Tesla, the Revero can go from San Francisco to Miami and NEVER have to plug in. Why? Because it's a hybrid that can run on gasoline when needed, to state the obvious. You seem to imply that by NOT trying to beat the Tesla EV range, that somehow the Revero is "behind". It's not, at least not from that perspective.

Why does one buy a Maserati Gran Tourismo over a Mercedes AMG GT? The AMG GT is faster, has higher HP and better gas mileage. But so what? It grinds my gears when people harp on one or two attributes of a class-leading car and act as if every car company has to be the same. BMW doesn't try to beat McLaren. They can't. But people still buy BMW. Mini can't compete on speed with a Ford Focus RS, but people still buy Mini Coopers. The Revero doesn't need to beat a Tesla 0-60, nor does it need to beat it on electric range. It just needs to offer a combination of luxury, performance, style, and utility that some people may want. If you drive both cars, you'll recall that a car is far more than just its 0-60 time or its range.

Not everyone wants a Tesla (most of all me). And I certainly don't want to be on a long trip and have to worry about where to plug in. Although that anxiety is being addressed through time with more charging options, it's not there yet. Until that is completely resolved, give me a Revero any day over another Model S, which are as common as weeds in certain areas.
 

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Thanks, Dave. Points well taken and made. I LOVE the Karma...Most everything about it. While the Tesla is all battery, and as such, can go farther than a hybrid solely on battery, I'm just guessing the Revero boys could have upgraded the battery prior to its release and gotten, say, 150 miles on a single charge. That would have made the car even greater.
 

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Thanks, Dave. Points well taken and made. I LOVE the Karma...Most everything about it. While the Tesla is all battery, and as such, can go farther than a hybrid solely on battery, I'm just guessing the Revero boys could have upgraded the battery prior to its release and gotten, say, 150 miles on a single charge. That would have made the car even greater.
You are correct that current battery cell technology offers much higher density than the 2008-era battery technology used in the Karma. And there is at least one company, @PowerSource, experimenting with upgrading the Karma's battery using cells with higher storage density and doubling or even tripling the max EV-only range of the Karma for the same weight. They don't have an HV Battery that you can buy yet, but as I understand it, they are pretty close. It's too bad that Karma Automotive is shackled to A123 and cannot (politically) seek and deploy newer battery chemistary for new Revero, but that does not mean that no one is doing that.
 

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Welcome! Since you asked...
You are also missing the fact that the Revero is not trying to get 300 miles on electric range. Unlike the Tesla, the Revero can go from San Francisco to Miami and NEVER have to plug in. Why? Because it's a hybrid that can run on gasoline when needed, to state the obvious. You seem to imply that by NOT trying to beat the Tesla EV range, that somehow the Revero is "behind". It's not, at least not from that perspective.

Why does one buy a Maserati Gran Tourismo over a Mercedes AMG GT? The AMG GT is faster, has higher HP and better gas mileage. But so what? It grinds my gears when people harp on one or two attributes of a class-leading car and act as if every car company has to be the same. BMW doesn't try to beat McLaren. They can't. But people still buy BMW. Mini can't compete on speed with a Ford Focus RS, but people still buy Mini Coopers. The Revero doesn't need to beat a Tesla 0-60, nor does it need to beat it on electric range. It just needs to offer a combination of luxury, performance, style, and utility that some people may want. If you drive both cars, you'll recall that a car is far more than just its 0-60 time or its range.

Not everyone wants a Tesla (most of all me). And I certainly don't want to be on a long trip and have to worry about where to plug in. Although that anxiety is being addressed through time with more charging options, it's not there yet. Until that is completely resolved, give me a Revero any day over another Model S, which are as common as weeds in certain areas.
Very well said.

I'm mostly commenting so that I can easily find this post again later when I want to plagiarize it :)
 
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