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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like many of us, my test-drive of the Karma is scheduled within the next two months (1 Sep 11, to be precise).

I'm thinking about developing a written list of things to look for, just so I don't forget anything while I have my 20 minutes with the car. Since Fisker has provided relatively little follow-on information, all of us have questions.

In fact, it might not be a bad idea to develop a "test drive check-list" right here on this thread.

For example, here are a few starter questions for the list:

1. Has the exhaust noise been corrected to an acceptable degree?
2. Is the interior fit and finish up to luxury car standards?
3. Are interior controls ergonomic?
4. Does the car have Homelink?
5. Is production trunk space sufficient?
6. Is the internal nav system state of the art?

Here are a few general categories: driveability, charging features, fit and finish, interior layout and ergonomics, features and functions.

If you're inclined, contribute a question or three. It would be useful for all of us.

SoFla

Fisker deposit on June 10, 2008 (#737). On order: Ecosport - Shadow exterior – Canyon Tritone interior (estimated delivery ~ October 1, 2011)
 

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7. Does it understeer or oversteer around corners?
8. Is the 0-60 time really what Fisker claims?
9. How does it perform going up steep hills?
10. Does the A/C crank out enough cold to work in a Texas summer?
11. How does the stereo system sound?
 

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12. Does the heater crank out enough heat to work in a Colorado winter?
13. How large is the gas tank? (I've never received an answer)
14. When can we expect the home charging systems to be available?
15. What should we expect from the auto insurance industry? (Farmers continues to say they haven't a clue)
 

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Richard Carnes said:
12. Does the heater crank out enough heat to work in a Colorado winter?
13. How large is the gas tank? (I've never received an answer)
14. When can we expect the home charging systems to be available?
15. What should we expect from the auto insurance industry? (Farmers continues to say they haven't a clue)
I think they've publicly stated the gas tank is 9 or 9.5 gallons.

My additional working questions:
- Are the sun visor and lights still flimsy? If so, why!?!?
- How loud is the car internally when in Stealth and Sport Mode?
- How comfortable are the seats?
- Does the car have that "new car" smell?
- Is the LCD dash easy to read in sunlight?
- How responsive is the haptic display?
- How does one sync or connect their iPod or iPhone with the car?
- How is driver forward and rear visibility?
- How does the solar roof and internal cooling work when the car is parked? (Remember it is meant to keep the cabin cool when the car is off/parked)
- Is there an alarm feature/option for the car?
- iPhone app for the car?
- Which side is the gas and which side is the electric plug inlet?
- Does the cabin light fade when doors close like other premium cars or does it just discretely shut on/off?
- Does the sound system have speed-sensitive volume control (e.g. what Audis, Merc's have to compensate for louder ambient noise while driving at higher speeds)?
- Is the steering wheel cumbersome to hold/use? (Looks too thick and has tons of buttons!)
- Do the doors sound solid when being closed? Earlier models lacked the "solid" or sturdy sound often found in the Lexus or BMWs
- Is there a spare tire? How big?
- On the sides of the car, which dimple is the exhaust and which is the speaker?


More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great questions so far.

Keep 'em coming and after about a week or two I'll compile a categorized list a re-post it so those who'd like can print it out.

SoFla

P.S. David, might not be a bad idea for Fisker to answer some of the fact-based questions here, if you're so inclined.
 

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16. Does the car drive the same in Sport mode as it does in Stealth mode?
17. Does the "Miles Left" indicator get reduced by the length of the test drive or does it go down faster than the actual miles driven?
18. What does the transition from Stealth to Sport feel like?
19. How easy is it to use the touch screen controls for radio, A/C, etc?
20. Does it come with a pair of Serengeti sunglasses? [hr]
21. Can the charging cycle be programmed to start and stop at certain times to take advantage of "car charging" rates that will be offered by various utilities?
 

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I count 41 questions so far. I will have an opportunity with a Karma next week and will do my best to answer them from a personal perspective. The questions I presently have are:

1. Has the exhaust noise been corrected to an acceptable degree?
2. Is the interior fit and finish up to luxury car standards?
3. Are interior controls ergonomic?
4. Does the car have Homelink?
5. Is production trunk space sufficient?
6. Is the internal nav system state of the art?
7. Does it understeer or oversteer around corners?
8. Is the 0-60 time really what Fisker claims?
9. How does it perform going up steep hills?
10. Does the A/C crank out enough cold to work in a Texas summer?
11. How does the stereo system sound?
12. Does the heater crank out enough heat to work in a Colorado winter?
13. How large is the gas tank? (I've never received an answer)
14. When can we expect the home charging systems to be available?
15. What should we expect from the auto insurance industry? (Farmers continues to say they haven't a clue)
16. I think they've publicly stated the gas tank is 9 or 9.5 gallons.
17. Are the sun visor and lights still flimsy? If so, why!?!?
18. How loud is the car internally when in Stealth and Sport Mode?
19. How comfortable are the seats?
20. Does the car have that "new car" smell?
21. Is the LCD dash easy to read in sunlight?
22. How responsive is the haptic display
23. How does one sync or connect their iPod or iPhone with the car?
24. How is driver forward and rear visibility?
25. How does the solar roof and internal cooling work when the car is parked? (Remember it is meant to keep the cabin cool when the car is off/parked)
26. Is there an alarm feature/option for the car?
27. iPhone app for the car?
28. Which side is the gas and which side is the electric plug inlet?
29. Does the cabin light fade when doors close like other premium cars or does it just discretely shut on/off?
30. Does the sound system have speed-sensitive volume control (e.g. what Audis, Merc' have to compensate for louder ambient noise while driving at higher speeds)?
31. Is the steering wheel cumbersome to hold/use? (Looks too thick and has tons of buttons!)
32. Do the doors sound solid when being closed? Earlier models lacked the "solid" or sturdy sound often found in the Lexus or BMWs
33. Is there a spare tire? How big
34. On the sides of the car, which dimple is the exhaust and which is the speaker?
35. Does the car drive the same in Sport mode as it does in Stealth mode?
36. Does the "Miles Left" indicator get reduced by the length of the test drive or does it go down faster than the actual miles driven?
37. What does the transition from Stealth to Sport feel like?
38. How easy is it to use the touch screen controls for radio, A/C, etc?
39. Does it come with a pair of Serengeti sunglasses?
40. Can the charging cycle be programmed to start and stop at certain times to take advantage of "car charging" rates that will be offered by various utilities?
41. Are there limitations in washing the car, e.g. can it go through an automatice Car Wash (Tire Width is usually the limitation here)

If there are additional questions please start at 42 and I will do my best to get answers late next week.

David Harris, Fisker Automotive.
 

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42. Do the side mirrors fold when the car is locked?
43. What's the legroom like in the back seat?
44. How well does the bluetooth audio work for phone calls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
45. When will a pdf version of the owner's manual be available on-line for those who have orders?
46. What tools, if any are included in the trunk kit?
47. Do the tires have a lug-nut lock?
48. How often is service recommended for the ICE?
49. What is the recommended service interval for the car itself?
50. Is touch-up paint available for tiny dings?
 

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DHarris said:
I count 41 questions so far.
You can skip question number 39. Thanks for looking into the rest.

-- Fab
 

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51. Seeing as there are so few dealerships. If I breakdown somewhere are there other places that I can get serviced without voiding my 50 month/50,000 mile warranty? Obviously, nobody is going to know how to work on the electric part, but if the Ecotec engine has problems can i get it looked at by a GM dealership?
52. What is the availability of repair parts going to be in the beginning? If I get a "lemon" am I going to be waiting for 6 months to get a part, i.e. if one of my electric motors craps out?[hr]
51. Seeing as there are so few dealerships. If I breakdown somewhere are there other places that I can get serviced without voiding my 50 month/50,000 mile warranty? Obviously, nobody is going to know how to work on the electric part, but if the Ecotec engine has problems can i get it looked at by a GM dealership?
52. What is the availability of repair parts going to be in the beginning? If I get a "lemon" am I going to be waiting for 6 months to get a part, i.e. if one of my electric motors craps out?
 

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53. How much does the car weigh?
 

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kabalah70 said:
52. What is the availability of repair parts going to be in the beginning? If I get a "lemon" am I going to be waiting for 6 months to get a part, i.e. if one of my electric motors craps out?
I doubt you will need to worry about this due to the ramp-up rate of new production. Of course, a Japan-tsunami-style disaster somewhere in the supply chain could cause issues, but that would be true even with a mass-market vehicle.
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
kabalah70 said:
52. What is the availability of repair parts going to be in the beginning? If I get a "lemon" am I going to be waiting for 6 months to get a part, i.e. if one of my electric motors craps out?
I doubt you will need to worry about this due to the ramp-up rate of new production. Of course, a Japan-tsunami-style disaster somewhere in the supply chain could cause issues, but that would be true even with a mass-market vehicle.
It is definitely something to worry about if they have not factored in repair parts early on and if they do not position them here in the United States at a central location, i.e. the Boxwood plant, or at the dealerships themselves, which probably would not have sufficient space. If one has to wait for a part to come from Finland it will either be rediculously expensive to get it here quickly or one might have to wait until it comes with the next shipment of cars. Either one of those options is, IMHO, unacceptable. A parts warehouse in the US is absolutely essential. And since Fisker, to date, has not addressed this, I think it is safe to assume that they have not done this.
It takes a bold visionary to prepare for the things that go wrong instead of focusing on trying to make everything go right. Eventually, something goes wrong, and it is the dissatisfied customer that talks more to people than the satisfied customer. I only hope that when something does go wrong, they take the Lexus approach, and correct it in an uncompromising fashion.
 

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kabalah70 said:
If one has to wait for a part to come from Finland it will either be rediculously expensive to get it here quickly or one might have to wait until it comes with the next shipment of cars.
This is more Mr. Harris' department, but keep in mind that every component of the Fisker Karma is coming from a supplier other than FIsker, ICE from GM, batteries from A123, drivetrain from Qdrive, etc.. In fact, they have to ship a lot of this stuff from the US and other countries to Finland to be assembled at Valmet so you don't have to worry about waiting to get stuff from Finland. I would guess that as part of their contract, each supplier may be required to have sufficient stock in their inventories for repairs and replacement and be prepared to ship them to the dealers that require them, just as a Ford dealer is not going to stock every engine they use on every vehicle in case they need one. Again, I may be mistaken, but given the small initial numbers of Karmas, I am pretty sure all the various suppliers can handle getting spare parts to dealers that need them fairly quickly. At least, I hope that is the case.

-- Fab.
 

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54. What are those dots on the front bumper?
 

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Here's my three:
55. What does the "Fisker Sound" sound like? My understanding is that there will be a stealth-mode only 'tron-like' sound pumped from the front and/or rear external speakers. Can you hear this from within the car? Does the pitch change with direction, speed or accelleration? At what point does it cut off?
56. I've variously heard reports of some sort of "burst mode" for accelleration which allows you to temporarily exceed the stated 125mph limit. Is this true? If so, how does it work and what are the penalties for using it? (I know, good luck testing this one on your initial test drive :) )
57. Is there a backup camera? If so, does it superimpose projections about where the car is heading, or where it will fit like several other luxury marques do?
 

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There is a rear-view (back-up) camera; it's listed in the PDF file full of Karma info that was available quite a while ago.

I think it is standard in the EcoSport and above.
 

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LonePalmBJ said:
55. What does the "Fisker Sound" sound like? My understanding is that there will be a stealth-mode only 'tron-like' sound pumped from the front and/or rear external speakers. Can you hear this from within the car? Does the pitch change with direction, speed or accelleration? At what point does it cut off?
The Tron-like sound can be heard here (especially near the end):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF_hOR0cXS8

It does really remind me of the synthesizer sound that characterizes the movie Tron (the new one).

It sounds a bit eery, but I do like it!
 
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