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Would you trade in your current Karma for the "KARMAX?"

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 50.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The All-New 2016 X-Model Karma (aka “KARMAX”)

As far as I know, there are no plans for a Model-X Karma. But just for grins, I was thinking about the only new car that would get me to trade in my cherished 2012, even if I had pay substantially more than its trade-in value a few years from now. In order of importance, here are the features I’d be looking for in the X-Model Karma:

1. A newly-designed serial powertrain that adds the electric battery to the ICE for a total output of 625 HP. This technology is available in other hybrid sports cars such as the McLaren P1, and upcoming Super Hybrids from Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche. With lighter and more efficient batteries, 0-60 in under 5 seconds should be possible. I realize that the electronics, RDM, traction motors, etc., would have to be redesigned and ruggedized, but this is a marketing exercise and not an engineering exercise. (See below.)

2. With new battery technology coming online, an EV range of 100 miles and a charging time of 1-2 hours should be possible. Achieving 80% battery range in less an hour would be desirable. The Tesla and the Leaf both have similar quick charge capabilities, and the technology is only going to get better.

3. An upgraded center console with improved functionality, reliability, speech recognition, smartphone interfaces, and a front-facing camera.

4. A linear regen paddle switch that turns on the brake lights and causes the car to decelerate smoothly as long as the paddle is held down. When the switch is released, the brake lights go off and the car maintains its speed at that release point until either the brakes or accelerator are actuated. The Karma actually does some of this now if you use Hill mode and then cruise control (or vice versa), but it’s not intuitive. However, it does currently function down to 10 mph.

5. Rear seats that individually fold down to provide additional cargo space. The back of the rear seats would have a trunk-like lining and straps to secure luggage.

6. Some minor trim changes to distinguish the model year. A new grill, wheel options, additional interior/exterior colors, lighted steering wheel controls and perhaps a bit more wood trim are a few of the things that come to mind. However, if there were any major styling changes to the body like Jaguar has done to the original XK8, I would probably pass on the car and keep my classic Karma.

7. HOV eligibility in most states. This requires modifying or changing the ICE as the Volt has done.

8. A solar roof that at least operates the climate control system.

To get me to trade in my 2012, the 2016 Karma would not have to include all of the above – or even implemented as described – but I was thinking about mass market appeal. If this car were to make it into production, demand would first have to be demonstrated. Too many investors have lost too much money on the current Karma and they’re not going make the same mistake based on finger-in-the-wind market guestimates. I don’t know anything about car design or the 700 pages of government regulations that Henrik and his team had to follow to get the 2012 into production, but I do know something about Venture Capital investment. The current VC mantra is “Show me the market and then show me the idea.”


Someone else please chime in, but my gut says that if the 2016 Karma were able to attract at least 10,000 buyers annually, and if the base price were around $125K, it would be a serious and viable competitor to other luxury or sport hybrids. With minimum tooling changes to the existing profile, the Karmax could truly have it all: Styling, supercar performance, extra luggage room when needed, terrific economy, improved functionality and no range anxiety.

Would you trade in your 2012 for the Karmax? That would be an interesting data point for this marketing exercise.
 

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This is a pretty impressive list. My suggestions:

1 I would be happy if we got the promised 400 HP on demand. 625 HP would be cool but not really necessary for everyday driving. Also, I would like to see the car shed a lot of weight by using smaller and more efficient motors, batteries, inverters, etc.

Fully agree with 2 - 3 and 5 - 8.

4. Seems a bit complicated. The speed-hold function is already part of the cruise control and conflating it with the regen seems confusing. I like the idea of brake lights coming on during deceleration to warn drivers behind.

I would add:

9. Features currently available in cars that cost much less than Karma: E.g., Heads-up display, radar-controlled smart cruise control, blind spot cameras or object detection, curb proximity detector, etc.

10. High-resolution performance and diagnostic data collection with remote access to data for for customer support.

I would be tempted by many of these, but what would close the deal for me would be a convertible hard top, with or without PV panels.
 

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625hp for 125K is a very attractive price for any production new car, regardless if it's an ev, gas only or an hybrid.

most of the features you are looking for exist in the VIA truck :) i think it uses a very similar battery pack that is installed in our karma.

https://www.viamotors.com/preorder/
 

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4. Seems a bit complicated. The speed-hold function is already part of the cruise control and conflating it with the regen seems confusing. I like the idea of brake lights coming on during deceleration to warn drivers behind.

Yaw Sensor/accelerometer if the car decelerates at x mph the brake lights illuminate. Pretty simple since the TCS already has one. I only drive my Karma in Hill 2 it is almost unbearable in normal mode (IMO of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
This is a pretty impressive list. My suggestions:

1 I would be happy if we got the promised 400 HP on demand. 625 HP would be cool but not really necessary for everyday driving. Also, I would like to see the car shed a lot of weight by using smaller and more efficient motors, batteries, inverters, etc.

Fully agree with 2 - 3 and 5 - 8.

4. Seems a bit complicated. The speed-hold function is already part of the cruise control and conflating it with the regen seems confusing. I like the idea of brake lights coming on during deceleration to warn drivers behind.

I would add:

9. Features currently available in cars that cost much less than Karma: E.g., Heads-up display, radar-controlled smart cruise control, blind spot cameras or object detection, curb proximity detector, etc.

10. High-resolution performance and diagnostic data collection with remote access to data for for customer support.

I would be tempted by many of these, but what would close the deal for me would be a convertible hard top, with or without PV panels.
I agree.

And #10 reminds me of something else I had wanted to include: Online or cloud based software upgrades that owners can install. (Pilots do this routinely for very sophisticated navigation instrumentation.)
 

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Incidentally I believe the reason regen drops out at 10 MPH and below is simply because at or below that speed, it becomes ineffective. (The drag stops being sufficiently close to continuous. Remember the "cogging" the drive motors used to have at low speeds? This is basically the same physics, except it's worth tweaking software to eliminate the cogging, as it's annoying, while it's less worthwhile trying to "de-cog" regen braking, there's just not enough energy to recover.)

(Not that I had anything to do with this software or hardware, that's just my "high level overview" understanding.)
 
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