Some automakers aren’t as well known as giants like Chevrolet and Toyota. Karma Automotive is one of them. Yet some of its vehicles, including the GS-6, should be on your wishlist. There’s only one problem: Rumors swirled last year that Karma was headed for bankruptcy.
So, did Karma Automotive go belly-up?
Karma Automotive is the now-defunct Fisker Motors. It all began with Henrik Fisker, who designed the Fisker Karma. Believe it or not, Car and Driver reported the Fisker Karma was one of the first hybrids to hit the market, and Fisker produced 2,000 units before folding.
After that, the Chinese auto-parts supplier Wanxiang took over the company and changed the name to Karma Automotive in 2017. Fisker made a comeback and is now a separate company.
Despite the new name and new owners, no changes were made to the Fisker Karma, renamed the Karma Revero. Sticker prices were still too high and the interiors so small that even sports car lovers didn’t want to ride inside. Oh, and the electric car’s range was lackluster at best.
In fact, Car and Driver was less than pleased with the new Revero, stating, “We couldn’t get more than 24 to 28 miles of electric driving from its battery before its 260-hp turbocharged four-banger kicked on to extend the range, bleating like an angry goat while sucking down fuel like a mid-size SUV.”
Over the years, Karma slowly changed things, yet the Revero still hadn’t gained traction. The introduction of the GS-6, a luxury hybrid sedan heavily based on the Revero but with a much lower price, helped breathe new life into Karma.
But that wasn’t enough, and Karma was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2020.
However, the automaker’s fortunes changed when an undisclosed source forked over some much-needed funds, The Verge reported. And now Karma is back and coming out swinging with the 2021 Karma GS-6.
The Karma GS-6 might feel familiar to Corvette fans
Sports cars aren’t for everyone. And they’re especially not for anyone who has grown accustomed to a higher driving position.
“The inches-off-the-ground seating position feels lower than ever, which may turn off folks who may have become acclimated to driving trucks and crossovers,” Car and Driver says of the Karma GS-6. “Once you’re in, the seating position and the view out the windshield will make owners of a C6 or C7 Corvette feel right at home.”
The GS-6 could be great for a weekend driver. But it could also be a daily driver, thanks to its four doors and low fuel costs. Either way, drivers used to riding up high might cringe at the thought of cowering to taller vehicles.
The 2021 Karma GS-6’s power, acceleration, and range
Though you might not have heard of it, the Karma GS-6 packs plenty of power. This plug-in hybrid can produce 536 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. Its Standard and Luxury models can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. But the GS-6 Sport gets a nearly 2.5-second speed boost for a 3.9-second split.
Plus, it boasts excellent fuel economy and a fast-charging battery.
According to MotorTrend, the GS-6’s real-world range is closer to 80 miles, which is decent for a PHEV. It can’t compare to the Tesla Model 3’s 300-mile range, but PHEVs aren’t designed to go as far as EVs. The battery can fully charge in a mere four hours when hooked up to a standard Level 2 charger. If you use a DC fast charger, that time is sliced to 90 percent in 34 minutes.
Given that the Karma GS-6 charges so fast, it’s perfect for anyone who isn’t sure they’re ready to go all-electric until more rural areas get charging stations. The GS-6 starts at $85,700. That’s still expensive, but this sports sedan is an attractive choice for those who can afford it.
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