Will an all-electric, 400-mile Karma Revero be enough for a Tesla Model S rematch?

Starting next year, the Karma Revero will get closer than it ever has to rivaling the Tesla Model S.

Ironically, that will mean retiring the range extender that was once broadly sized up as the Revero’s ace card—back when, in an earlier existence, it was called the FIsker Karma. 

Karma Automotive announced Thursday that about a year from now, in 2021 the Revero GTE will be offered in two fully electric versions, one offering a 200-mile range from a 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack and the other offering a 300-mile range from a 100-kwh pack. Both use a nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion battery chemistry.

Later next year Karma claims that a 400-mile version of the GTE will be introduced. If it stays true to the range tease, it might prove a rival not just to the Model S but to the upcoming Lucid Air, which has been anticipating a rated range of more than 400 miles. 

Karma E-Flex extended-range EV platform

Karma E-Flex extended-range EV platform

The Revero GTE will continue to ride on the brand’s E-Flex platform, which is a continued development of the powertrain originally from Quantum Technologies more than a decade ago in the Fisker Karma. However in the Revero GT and Revero GTS, the company has recently done some substantial reengineering, with a larger battery for a much longer electric range, and a BMW engine as the range extender.

The GTE will offer DC fast charging capability at up to 150 kw—enabling an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes—and its 11-kw AC onboard charging will permit overnight charging of the battery packs (capacity not yet revealed). 

Karma says that it will allow a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and have torque vectoring. The company didn’t say how many motors will power the Revero GTE; it recently showed a van boasting the possibility of four motors, but the Revero GT and GTS have dual electric motors permitting all-wheel drive. 

Development for the Karma GTE has been done at the company’s Irvine, California, headquarters. Karma is owned by Chinese auto-parts supplier Wanxiang, which had already bought Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems. 

2010 Fisker Karma

2010 Fisker Karma

It doesn’t appear that any of the other design fundamentals for the Revero have changed much. That means it will continue with the model’s current strengths and weaknesses. Twelve years after originally being shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the Karma/Revero still looks modern and voluptuous, but its low-roof design and proportions make the interior—and back-seat space especially—feel very cramped.

On the other hand, the Revero and Karma cost a lot more than the Tesla Model S to start, but there was definitely some price overlap with top-performance Model S versions. And purely on a luxury scale they were leagues ahead of Tesla in terms of cabin materials and trims. 

Green Car Reports hasn’t driven the Revero. Test-drive feedback from various sources has varied widely. It’s currently hand-assembled at a facility in Moreno Valley, California.

Provided the GTE makes it to production next year, it will be a curious bookend for three companies—each with a connection to Fisker—as the new Fisker Inc. and its upcoming Model Y–sized FIsker Ocean electric SUV also aim for a market launch. 

tesla model s teaser 001

tesla model s teaser 001

The namesake behind the original Fisker Karma had previously been hired by Tesla to be the designer for the WhiteStar project that was to become the Model S—and that project itself was possibly going to be a plug-in hybrid very early on. 

Tesla’s bets on fully electric and its wholly different path in developing the Model S clearly paid off. But in the electric-car sector isn’t it always better late than never? 

Would you consider an all-electric Revero with 400 miles of range? Does it put this model anywhere close to the Model S in consideration—at least as a more exclusive, more lavish alternative? What would its rivals be? Let us know in your comments below.

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