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For those of us who are less informed about the Karma, and perhaps cars in general, and who have not had a chance to test drive the Karma yet, can you please explain what the "noise issue" is and when it occurs? Plain english for us non-gearheads would be great. Thanks in advance.
 

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The noise is from the 4-cylinder gas engine that is used as a generator to recharge the battery as you drive the car. In Sport mode the generator gives extra amperage to drive the electric motors - thus faster. In regular driving the generator only kicks in when the battery is running low or dead. The problem is that the 4 cylinder engine has to rev very hard to generate the power, and it sounds awful. The limited space under the hood means little space for an appropriately sized muffler. Plus, the exhaust vents are by your feet instead of in back of the car, so you hear the noise coming out of the tailpipe quite loudly.

-Brian
 

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cbermudez8 said:
For those of us who are less informed about the Karma, and perhaps cars in general, and who have not had a chance to test drive the Karma yet, can you please explain what the "noise issue" is and when it occurs? Plain english for us non-gearheads would be great. Thanks in advance.
I have no desire to be inhospitable but I need to point out that is generally regarded as bad form on any forum, such as this one, to ask a question when a great deal of discussion has already taken place, without first reviewing the existing posts and coming up to speed.

Generally speaking, the engine noise issue or "The Noise" as some have called it, refers to the noise made by the range extending engine in the Fisker when it is working at maximum load. The volume and pitch of this noise is one of the few criticisms leveled at the Karma by the automotive press and the people who have test driven the car. You can get an actual example of what the noise sounds like in this video starting at around 3:28 (I tried to embed the video with the start time encoded but the forum software does not seem to recognize the additional command. Just move the slider over to skip the first part of the video if you like):

[video=youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPcmgugryjo[/video]


As I said, there is a fair amount of discussion about the noise in various threads on forum and you should have no trouble finding additional reading material on it. You can also refer to the most recent Motor Trend article that mentions it here.

When you get a chance to test drive a Fisker Karma, get on a freeway, select "Sport" mode and floor the accelerator pedal to experience the noise first hand.

Hope this helps,

-- Fab.
 

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In Stealth Mode (only battery power) there is absolutely no noise issue. And from what I understand (from reviews and test drive feedback) there are 3 ways of using Sport Mode, and only one of those has the 'noise issue'.

1. If you manually select Sport Mode for extra acceleration, the engine/generator will produce noise, but this is not considered a problem because it correlates with acceleration. Actually, the whistle and hiss the turbo-engine/generator produces at that moment make the car sound like a 'space ship', 'jet fighter' and 'batmobile' - quoting some positive comments from people who have driven in this mode.

2. If you manually select Sport Mode to charge the battery, when the battery is still charged for 50% or more, the engine/generator will work quietly, on the background, not producing high revs and intrusive noise.

3. If the car automatically selects Sport Mode to charge the battery, which happens when the battery falls below 20% charge, then some (many?) people find the engine/generator too noisy and intrusive. The engine/generator will produce high revs to quickly get the battery to a 50% charge. From that moment on, but this is a guess, it should become more quiet as it has to work less hard to keep it at 50%.
 
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