Can vehicles have souls? Should they have souls? That’s a good question—and one that might be answered in this automotive commentary.
How do you pick a vehicle in order to decide this? By chance, that’s how. And the Fisker Karma is a great place to start this endeavor. Firstly, this vehicle is a beautiful high-end luxury car! It’s endowed with a long sloping hood that gives way to a wasp-like midsection that then ends with round fender arches—and that’s damn sexy! Its wheels are almost cartoon-like in size with huge brakes adorning the centers. This is total “car-porn” for us car people. Swing the door open and sitting inside the cabin is like slipping on those boxer briefs that are tight, but not too tight. The seats are just right for holding you in place and making you feel snug and planted. The materials are all high-end and with just the right amount of eco-friendliness. There’s a leaf pattern into the center console and the door panels. It’s just plain cool. It inspires one to think that the future of the EV Jetsons-esque flying car is here!
However, this is where the fantasy stops. Push the start button, click the shifter into drive, and the car hums its way forward. No grunt, no sound whatsoever—it just “buzzes”—apparently as to not sneak up on people and then run them over inadvertently. The drive is boring and uninspiring…it feels like an appliance. A Toyota Prius has more “feel” than this car. It’s crazy to think that a $116K+ car is so “soulless”! I’m here to tell you that it is. It does everything it’s supposed to do, but with little fanfare and feeling. It goes, stops, turns, and that’s about it. If you’re a tree-hugging eco-friendly person with money to burn, this is okay. But in all reality, it’s not!
The drive is boring and uninspiring…it feels like an appliance.
Henrik Fisker is a great man…um, designer. He designed the Aston Martin DB9 and the BMW Z8—those are two timeless exotics. But he also swindled the US taxpayer out of $530M after taking Fisker into bankruptcy. Bad management and production woes were the ultimate downfall of this automaker.
Not all is lost in this story, however! Fisker may be on the verge of getting a soul—the company has just been sold and is now owned by Wanxing, a Chinese conglomerate whose sole intent is to turn the company around and re-fund it. Summit Strategic Investments, a Wanxing division, specializes in turning around troubled assets; they’ve already succeeded with Segway, so its promising that they’ll succeed with Fisker.
Bob Lutz of GM fame is supposedly in the mix of the revamp. His company VL Automotive is supposedly going to manage the new production plant here in the US. Word around the campfire is that these EV luxury cars will be rebranded, and in place of their gas/electric power-trains, a big honking V8 will be installed. This will undoubtedly replace the “soulless buzzing” noise that they once made. Hopefully, this will create a high-end luxury sedan with a soul!
Word around the campfire is that these EV luxury cars will be rebranded, and in place of their gas/electric power-trains, a big honking V8 will be installed.
Let’s face it: if you’re going to plop down $120K for a fancy car, you’ll want some flash, luxury, and the roar of a gas guzzling, speed limit breaking, 550HP motor! (And that’s just what this car needs in order to have some soul!) If you don’t, just buy a Toyota Prius for $25K and call it good!