Karma’s new GS-6 Hybrid is a cheaper version of its luxury sports car

Electric vehicle startup Karma Automotive has fully revealed its latest hybrid car, the GS-6. While it shares the same design as the company’s ultra-luxury sedan, the Revero GT, with the Karma GS-6 costing nearly half the price – $ 83,900 – is bidding to reach a much broader set of customers.

Karma says it is able to do so because it plans to build more cars at its California production plant, build them more efficiently, and, according to Jeff Holland, director of public supplies, keep its supply chain Is streamlined. “It helps that our parent company also owns our battery supplier A123 Systems, but over the years we have seen a substantial reduction in the cost of lithium-ion batteries and other EV-related components, including other items such as motors and generators Are, ”said Holland The Reporter Door In an email

If the new car succeeds, Karma may eventually realize its goal of becoming a small-volume manufacturer to capitalize on a new wave of optimism (and wealth) in the electric vehicle space.

The path to that goal has been difficult for Karma so far. The startup was born in 2014, when the Chinese automotive group Wanjiang Group bought a large asset of Ficker Automotive That Company bankruptcy. Wenjhi named the new startup after the failed hybrid sports car Fisher Karma of the defunk company, and eventually revived the vehicle as the Revero. (Heinrich Fischer, who founded Ficer Automotive, is now a new company called Fixar Inc. which is also working on other vehicles.)

Karma has spent the last few years selling a small number of Revero hybrids for about $ 150,000, while actually struggling to get on its feet, as Vanningi reportedly found the startup completely Did waffle on supporting. JalopnikJason Torkinski has reported. Has been a startup Accused of making prototypes, which are basically just “film props” There may be more Last year considered filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Karma has denied both claims.) Karma has also hired more than a hundred employees in the past two years and has taken a PPP loan of more than $ 5 million from the government in 2020.

GS-6 means helping Karama get out of the turmoil that was appealing to a potentially large group of buyers. It is powered by a BMW-powered, turbocharged three-cylinder engine and two electric motors that, in total, generate around 536 horsepower – the same powertrain found in the Revero. A 28kWh battery pack allows up to 80 miles of driving on electricity alone.

The interior features a touchscreen in the center of the dashboard, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a digital instrument cluster for the driver. Karma says that it is the source of much more durable material for the trim and seats, and also in an effort to appeal to more conscientious buyers. The Karma will sell the Sport and Luxury trim of the GS-6, and the all-electric version (dubbed GSe-6) will start at $ 79,900 later.

“We’re not selling PowerPoints, we’re selling real cars,” Jost de Vras, Karma’s vice president of global sales, told reporters last week. De Viers explained that with a total production capacity of 15,000 cars per year at the Karma California factory, expect to target younger buyers with a lower price point, and more of them as well. That said, De Veers was quick to tell that the startup retained many of its older, existing customers whose Revero leases had expired. “It really started to feel like a more complete auto maker in the US,” Karma said.

Whereas Karma has spent time and money developing autonomous technology (even Last year allegedly built self-driving van), De Weiss said that the startup’s passenger vehicles are not expected to arrive anytime soon. The GS-6 lineup will have optional driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping, but nothing more. “We are not seeing anything in our near future at level three or level four,” De Vries said, referring to automotive engineers’ designations for hands-free driving and a completely driverless capability within a certain area doing. “It’s on the roadmap, but I think we still want to wait another decade or so before the legislative problems are resolved, and our customers aren’t really asking for it.”

Karma is also involved in many other advanced techniques. The startup shared that it’s working in a way Use methanol and hydrogen fuel cells to power future electric vehicles. This also Expected to sell technology platform that powers its cars to other automakers. An SUV is also in the works.

To fund all of this, Karma announced last July that it had raised $ 100 million. The announcement came at the beginning of a wave of electric vehicle companies going public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies (including Fixer Inc.). But as of now, karma remains private. “Our management team is exploring all avenues for large financing with investment bankers. And of course, the IPO has always been an aspiration for Karma when this public company is ready, but for now our focus is on growing its business, ”a spokesperson told The Reporter Door those days.

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