Here's what's not surprising: the world's economy is in the tank, and most automakers are struggling to get by. So what is surprising? Given all that gloom and doom, Fisker has received 1,300 pre-orders for its Karma plug-in hybrid. Also: the upstart automaker has signed up 22 dealers to sell the vehicles, and it's planning to ink a total of 40 by year's end.
As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the base model Karma starts just under $88,000, with optional packages ramping up the sticker price to $106,000. At the upper end are some truly eco-conscious perks, including bamboo fiber upholstery and accents of reclaimed wood. All versions feature the Karma's zippin', gas-sippin' Q-DRIVE powertrain, which runs 50 miles on a lithium-ion battery pack and features a combustion engine for extended range. (According to the company's math, that makes for an annual average of 100mpg.)
So, the car sounds great, as do the pre-order figures, the dealerships, and the tech stats. (No need to worry about varied EPA regs, Fisker!) But is everything as it seems? Sure 1,300 pre-orders sounds great--especially for a luxury vehicle like the Karma--but the company received about 1,000 of those orders over the course of 2008, with the rest tacked on since the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. That seems slightly less impressive--although orders will likely increase as the November drop date approaches. Weigh in with your thoughts on those stats below.
And for those of you who haven't seen the Karma up close, here's a clip that might be of interest: