Karma plug-in supercar comes back with new ownership, updates

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In early 2012, a new plug-in exotic sedan was launched called the Fisker Karma.

The curvy 4-door was the brainchild of veteran auto designer Henrik Fisker.

But supplier problems and the lingering effects of the great recession and auto crisis sent Fisker Automotive into bankruptcy, and the Karma went away almost as quickly as it arrived.

Now, it's back.

Same car. Same design. New name: the Karma Revero.

"Obviously the timeless design made it pretty appropriate to bring it back," said William Morse, brand manager for Karma Automotive.

An investor purchased the assets of bankrupt Fisker Automotive and decided the car had a lot of life left in it.

So if you wanted one for the short time they were made previously, now's your second chance.

The philosophy of the new company is simple.

"Keep it the same for the most part, update what needs to be updated. And then kind of re-do all 'brains' of the car to make it really ready for 2018 and forward," Morse said.

They did update the battery, and the car's infotainment system, to newer technology.

One thing that hasn't really changed: this is not an inexpensive car. It was six-figures-plus in 2012 and it's now $130,000 before options.

The car is still exclusive, and being sold through high-end dealerships like Rusnak in Pasadena.

Not every car could have made such a comeback. This one has some advantages, like being somewhat ahead of its time in design, and in the fact that it's a plug-in hybrid.

Like before, you can charge up the battery pack and go about 50 miles gas-free. When you're out of juice, no problem. A small engine under the hood generates more to keep you going. Or you can combine battery and generator power for great performance in Sport mode.

This comeback has also brought jobs to the region. The Karma is built right here in Southern California, in Moreno Valley.

"It's an expensive state to operate in. But we believe enough in this state that we said, 'Hey, let's do it here' because it really is the essence of California," Morse noted.

And if you want the essence of high style, exclusivity and the ability to run on battery power, the Karma Revero can be your choice, once again.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.