What goes around comes around. An idiom prescribed by chastising mothers teaching their children about the consequences of actions. But the phrase doesn’t have to be negative. When viewed from a glass half full, the phrase asserts that good people reap the benefits of their kindness. Along similar lines, hard work, focus on excellence and making something of elite quality will see people respond accordingly. This mantra rests at the heart of a Southern Californian luxury automobile company, Karma Automotive. Yet, they take this idea a step further. As their flagship Karma Revero goes around, more and more people have come around to its green innovations that refuse to compromise on aesthetic and performance.
Continuing the karmic theme, the company has had a few reincarnations of its own. Karma Automotive’s nascent stage began with the Fisker Karma electric sports sedan, designed by Henrik Fisker, the same mind behind the Aston Martin DB9. When Karma Automotive purchased the rights to the design, they kept true to its major themes, rebranding and re-releasing the Karma Revero in 2016. Since its return to the electric-luxury-car scene, Karma has focused on exclusivity, craftsmanship and car-making as an art form. With only 150 cars planned for production in 2018, the vehicles receive the individual attention necessary to match each Revero with its ideal owner. Now, with approximately 1,000 employees worldwide and 300 working in production, each car undergoes hours of by-hand care and attention. With experts in fields ranging from aerospace technology, art and auto mechanics, the company ensures that every detail gets reviewed with proper diligence from experienced craftsmen.
Jim Taylor, Karma Automotive’s Chief Revenue Officer, spoke with VUE about the company’s unique background. “We’re a California car company, born and bred, and we’re driven by technology, luxury design and delivering an unparalleled customer experience.” As the only vehicle assembler in Southern California in recent decades, these cars reflect the geography of the state’s mountains, beaches, deserts and plains.
For Karma, every Revero has a soul. Like the many lives within the karmic cycle, no Revero exactly resembles a previous one. Although we are all guilty of categorizing based on essential qualities, it can be reductionist and foolish in certain cases. The Revero certainly resists neat boxes. Each hood ornament badge gets hand-painted and signed by the artist creating them, while unique customizations allow each customer to make their Revero truly their own.
The soul of a Karma Revero comes with multifaceted distinctions that mirror the clientele it attracts. “Our customers like the finer things in life and are adding the Revero to an existing collection,” said Taylor when discussing today’s Karma driver, “The Revero isn’t a high-performance car so for most of our owners, traditional measures don’t matter. It’s about the driving experience and connecting the driver to the road. Revero is a true California GT made for those that enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.” In the world of high-end vehicles, matching a car’s purpose to a customer’s unique personality remains paramount.
One demand of the modern car enthusiast: shifting towards environmentally conscious vehicles. Since its founding, Karma has stood out for its green-focused mission. Taylor noted that “being a car manufacturer, you cannot ignore the EV (Electric Vehicle) space and the fact that the industry is headed in that direction. We saw an opportunity to deliver a vehicle that is as beautiful as it is technologically advanced and delivers the performance environmentally conscious consumers expect from an electric vehicle.” The Revero won the Green Luxury Car of the Year in 2018, and once you read about the innovations they’ve added, you’ll understand why.
When first looking at the car, its 200-watt solar panel roof that allows for passive charging throughout the day immediately separates it from the pack. The roof adds nearly 500 miles per year to the car’s range, based purely on sunlight. When plugging in, the car only takes 24 minutes to charge, but the solar panel extends the Revero’s range and already minimal gas consumption on top of that. An industry first, its unique structure takes advantage of sunlight angles to maximize efficiency. Within 50 miles, Revero owners won’t need gas at all. For longer journeys, the car switches to gas and expands its range to 300 miles—all while handling with the precision that discerning drivers need in a luxury brand.
Even with its green technology, the Revero still boasts a 403 horse-power engine with 981 ft.-lbs of torque. With a low center of gravity and responsive handling, it still offers the thrill of the drive. Its regenerative braking technology resists both fade and wear, giving the driver confidence on the road as the vehicle recharges its high-voltage battery.
The Revero’s focus on streamlined, eye-catching curvature gives the body design a balanced look between Gran Turismo vehicles like a Mustang and the sleek proportions of a Porsche 911. “The Fisker Karma is known for being one of the most beautifully designed vehicles and we wanted to keep the same beautiful aesthetics in the Karma Revero while upgrading the technology in the vehicle,” said Taylor when discussing the Revero’s seductive exterior. With colors ranging from Borrego Black, Balboa Blue (a sea teal), and Corona del Sol (classic red), the Revero appeals to both panache or restrained personality types. The leather interiors also follow suit, with stained wood paneling and tans, or crimson and midnight blacks for the sporty, cutting-edge vibe.
The Revero hasn’t simply copy-pasted the original Fisker model. The company has made important upgrades and changes from the 2012 version of the car, creating an even more dynamic drive. Taylor outlined some of the new modernizations: “The 2018 Karma Revero offers improved quality and reliability, including a redesigned infotainment system built with the user in mind, a new wiring harness and battery chemistry for an overall refined experience compared to the 2012 Fisker Karma.” On top of this, Karma’s focus on customer service, particularly post-sale, makes purchasers of a Revero a permanent addition to the Karma family. They have added a Vehicle Event Case System that helps remote customer service representatives diagnose potential issues with the car before anything happens on the road. “A team based in Karma’s California headquarters is able to read codes on vehicles, diagnose the cause and, where needed, immediately dispatch parts or personnel from their Aftersales and Engineering teams to resolve the issue. This early warning system also allows Karma’s retailers and dedicated Customer Experience Specialists to assist with issues. In many cases, they call customers before the customers know the issue exists. Karma’s system even allows them to implement updates to each vehicle’s software over-the-air, just like you get on your phone.”
Looking forward, Karma plans on continuing to deviate from the norm and push beyond traditional automobile expectations. “Building a car company and establishing a brand is a monumental task that has its challenges, but we offer an exclusive vehicle that features advanced technology, premium materials and performance that today’s luxury buyer is looking for,” stated Taylor, “We have an established network of 13 dealers that is growing and with future expansions by the end of 2019.”
When we asked about the plans of Karma Automotive moving forward, Taylor remained focused on elite artistry and customer satisfaction. “While we can’t disclose specific details, we have a product roadmap and consumers are going to be introduced to some really exciting vehicles that truly capture the soul of the Karma brand. We work daily to envision and build distinctive luxury electric vehicles that deliver a unique experience through innovative design, technology and customization. We will continue to uphold ourselves to this vision in future product roadmaps, partnerships and corporate decisions. We have proven that we can build a car, which is not a small accomplishment. To reach our full potential, every aspect of our company needs to be better tomorrow than we are today.” Like any karmic cycle, reaching an enlightened state requires diligent, consistent work. As Karma Automotive strives to reach its full potential, we can look forward to new iterations and optimizations of its remarkable and unique vehicle.