There appears to be no shortage of ideas and competition in what is called the "premium sports car" market.
One of the latest entries is Fisker Automotive with its high-end Karma plug-in hybrid. The Karma is built around Fisker's Q-Drive hybrid technology. The company claims a 50-mile range for the electric car. A gas engine charges a lithium-ion battery.
Fisker also is claiming 100-MPG fuel economy.
According to the company (Irvine, Calif.), the Q-Drive configuration includes a small gasoline engine that turns a generator, which charges the Karma's lithium-ion battery. The battery powers an electric motor that drives the rear wheels.
See other Karma specifications here.
Some observers are calling the four-door Karma sedan a "Tesla killer," a reference to the other high-end U.S. electric car developed in Silicon Valley. (Daimler recently acquired a 10 percent equity stake in Tesla Motors.)
Fisker says a production version of the Karma will be delivered in 2010. Earlier versions were priced between about $80,000 and $87,900, according to automotive industry reports.
Karma has plenty of cachet. What's not clear is who, beyond collectors and the wealthy, will buy this car.