First factory-built Fisker Karma live photosEnlarge Photo
After multiple delays and slipped deadlines, you might be forgiven for assuming it would never happen. But it did.
Fisker Automotive has delivered one of its first production cars, a 2012 Fisker Karma extended-range electric sports sedan, to a paying customer. The video below shows the handover two days ago.
But it's not just any old paying customer.
The lucky recipient is Ray Lane, of the noted Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byer, who held a small press conference in the firm's parking lot.
Lane may represent a late change of plans as the first customer. Company founder Henrik Fisker had said earlier this month that the first production Karma would be delivered to Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor and green-car advocate.
But Lane is a logical choice. Not only is he a partner at Kleiner Perkins, he also happens to be chairman of Fisker Automotive, in which the company invested three years ago.
The video shows Lane cheering as he gets the keys, and delivering an impassioned speech about the Karma, calling it a "no-compromises car."
Prince Albert of Monaco and Henrik Fisker drive Fisker Karma on Monaco Grand Prix circuit, May 2011Enlarge Photo
The Fisker Karma itself has a 22.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that provides up to 50 miles of all-electric running.
After that, its GM-sourced 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine switches on to act as a range extender, generating electric power to feed the pair of 150-kilowatt electric motors that drive the rear wheels.
Total range is roughly 300 miles, and 0-to-60-mph acceleration time is said to be 5.9 seconds. Top speed is given as more than 125 mph.
Only a handful of automotive journalists have driven the 2012 Karma, and only in a closed track setting, so no comprehensive reviews of the car are available.