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2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Podcast Review


To begin teaching you about the 2022 GS-6, I must first provide some historical context. The Wanxiang Group, a Chinese company, bought the assets of Fisker Automotive, the maker of the original Fisker Karma when it went bankrupt in the mid-2010s. The carmaker was later relaunched by Wanxiang and renamed Karma Automotive.

The Karma Revero was Karma’s first automobile production, a somewhat refurbished version of the Fisker Karma. After that, the Revero GT was released, which was an updated version of the Revero. So, you’ve made it this far? Karma is now planning to release a more affordable vehicle, which brings me to the 2022 Karma GS-6. It’s a new brand that delivers the Revero GT’s recognizable appearance and powertrain at a lesser price.

The Karma GS-6 is a premium plug-in hybrid with a battery range of more than 60 miles and a gasoline engine for extended excursions. It’s a spectacular-looking sports car with decent performance and a plug-in vehicle that makes a lot of sense for premium purchasers wanting exclusivity, at least for the first half of the decade.

With more fully electric premium sporty vehicles arriving for less, such as the BMW i4 ($56,395 base price) and more, such as the upcoming Lucid Air ($169,000), the selling proposition of a plug-in has to be its practicality for longer trips, as long as you don’t hold more than six cubic feet of luggage (or opt to fill the Karma’s snug rear seat).

Kelley Blue Book – 2021 Karma GS-6 | Review & Road Test

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Karma GS-6, like the Revero, has a plug-in hybrid engine. (The GSe-6, which is similar, is totally electric.) The rear wheels are powered by a pair of electric motors that provide 536 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. When the stored battery power is gone, an onboard generator powered by a BMW turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in to supply power to the motors. When Sport mode is engaged, the motors are powered by both stored battery energy and the gasoline engine/generator. For the GS-6, Karma hasn’t provided any acceleration times. However, we expect its 0-60 mph time to be fairly close to that of the Revero GT, which has a stated 4.5-second 0-60 mph speed.

Unlike other plug-ins, Karma’s drivetrain functions in a unique way. The front-mounted combustion engine in the GS-6 provides energy to power the rear-drive wheels, one motor per side, using the same three-cylinder turbo engine created by BMW for its i3 subcompact sedan and i8 sports vehicle. This is referred to as a REX, or range-extender, setup by BMW and Karma.

When in gas-engine mode, most plug-ins drive the wheels mechanically. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or plug-in features a battery that powers the automobile for 10 to 60 miles before switching to a combustion engine to drive the wheels directly. As long as the battery is 16 kWh or greater, a plug-in can generally qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit. The GS-6 easily qualifies at 28 kWh.

The largest electric vehicle batteries are around 100 kWh. A hybrid, such as the original Toyota Prius, has 5 kWh batteries that can run 1-3 miles on their own.

The combustion engine kicks in and powers the car via the generator when the GS-6 EV battery becomes low, or even sooner if the driver tromps the throttle. Combining the battery’s power with the engine’s produced power, the two—battery and engine—can work together to make fast even quicker.

Range, Charge & Battery

The GS-6 is a plug-in hybrid, however, unlike other manufacturers, its 28-kWh ion battery pack has the capacity to allow for daily EV-only travel. Before the gasoline engine comes in, a fully charged battery will provide EPA-estimated 61 miles of guilt-free driving. A Level 2 station will take roughly four hours to fully charge the battery, but a DC fast-charging station would charge the battery to 90% in about 35 minutes. The Fisker Karma and Karma Revero had a solar roof that could power accessories or provide a few free miles each day, but that feature won’t be available on the GS-6 when it goes on sale.

The GS-6 battery range is good, ranging from 61 miles (according to the EPA) to 80 miles (according to Karma), after which a BMW three-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in. The concern of EVs becoming stranded far from charging outlets will persist for the next few years. Knowing that the future will be all-electric, Karma will release an electric-only version, the GSe-6, before the end of the year for less money than the GS-6.

Exterior & Interior

The GS-6 is elegantly designed. The four-seater is long, broad, and low-slung. Curvaceous fenders and a power dome hood dominate the sedan‘s front appearance, giving it a powerful performance look. Optional black-out and/or carbon fiber trim can be combined with any of the 12 exterior color options. The GS-6 comes standard with 21-inch wheels, with 22-inch wheels available as an option.

2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Wheels
2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Wheels

Stitching on the dashboard and doors, reclaimed wood rescued from California wildfires, and metal and carbon-fiber trim are among the personalization possibilities available on the inside. Even though the car is low-slung and only has 5.4 inches of ground clearance, taller drivers will find plenty of leg and headroom in the front. The front and rear seats are separated by a full-length center console. Because of the slanting roof, the rear-seat headroom is limited. The trunk capacity is just 6.4 cubic feet, less than half that of a Corvette and only slightly more than that of a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Interior - Karma GS-6 Rear Seats & Karma GS-6 Front Seats
2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Interior – Karma GS-6 Rear Seats & Karma GS-6 Front Seats
Karma GS-6 Front & Karma GS-6 Cargo (Rear Trunk)
Karma GS-6 Front & Cargo (Rear Trunk)

The GS-6 is nearly comparable in size to the Revero GT, we expect it to have the same amount of internal room. Because of the tapered roofline, the GS-6 should have plenty of back legroom but limited rear headroom. The interior design is similar to that of the Revero GT, however, the quality of the materials may be a little lower than that of its more costly sister. Reclaimed wood trim, ventilated front seats, and a variety of leather hues serve as reminders that you’re still driving a premium car.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The GS-6, like the Revero GT, comes with a plethora of tech features and driving assistance.

From behind the wheel, the GS-6 has a 21st-century vibe thanks to the digital instrument panel, while the central 10.2-inch touchscreen handles the infotainment system and certain frequently used features (a necessity given the lack of physical buttons in the cockpit).

Select EV mode from the “Gauges” icon at the top of the center screen to see the car’s status. With a single touch, circular virtual gauges appear, displaying temperature data for the right and left rear-wheel motors, coolant and oil temperatures, electric power to the wheels, axle torque, and other parameters. The gauge cluster may be rotated with a finger swipe to magnify higher priority readouts. Additional sections include information about performance and energy use, as well as service reminders and general vehicle health.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an eight-speaker audio system, are included as standard features.

You don’t need to contact a Karma dealer to receive new features or updated software because the infotainment system allows over-the-air upgrades.

The GS-6’s operating environment is always cloud-connected, allowing it to receive software and diagnostic updates over the air (OTA). This is an important feature since the GS-6 can communicate status data to Karma and Karma can send status data to the GS-6. Karma will send a notice to the “Messages” page on the center display if the GS-6 requires service. An Android/Apple Karma app provides additional data and capabilities, including car location, remote door locking/unlocking, and vehicle health reports. All of this is useful, and it’s already standard on electric vehicles like Teslas.

Every GS-6 comes with a long array of driver assistance features. A 360-degree camera and adaptive headlamps that spin as you move the steering wheel join standard features like forwarding collision warning and blind-spot monitoring.

The GS-6’s linked nature will appeal to tech-savvy consumers. The car systems are controlled via Karma’s HMI, or Human Machine Interface, therefore there are only a few buttons and switches inside. The steering wheel or the 10.2-inch central touchscreen, which shows a broad array of GS-6 data, is just a haptic finger tap or swipe away from providing information. Because the controls on the steering wheel are tiny, finger accuracy is required.

2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Infotainment System
2022 Fisker Karma GS-6 Infotainment System

Driving Experience & Safety

The GS-6 comes with a long list of standard driver assistance systems, including:

  • Stop-and-go adaptive cruise control keeps the car in front of it at a safe distance and can even bring it to a complete stop in regular traffic.
  • Blindspot warning utilizes sensors to identify cars to the sides and rear of the vehicle, providing a visual, audio, or tactile warning to the driver.
  • Both lane-keeping assist (LKA) and lane-keeping support (LKS) employ a forward-facing camera and haptic feedback to notify drivers. LKS has a hands-free detection warning system that actively assists the driver in staying in the lane.
  • When a driver’s inattention is detected, automatic emergency braking employs radar to assist prevent crashes.
  • There are eight airbags in all, including two knee bags. In a severe frontal crash, knee bags assist guard front seat passengers from submerging or slipping beneath seatbelts.

The Karma GS-6 is swift, responsive, and well-handled. In Sport mode, the engine produces 536 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. The broad tires (245mm front cross-section/255mm rear) are solidly grounded thanks to the independent rear suspension, torque vectoring, and a limited-slip differential. The ride is smooth, and the seats are comfortable and well-padded. Brembo brake calipers with six pistons in front and four pistons in the rear are linked to cross-drilled discs for better stopping power.

The GS-6 cabin is silent in electric-only mode. When driven in Sport mode, the GS-6 boasts an active exhaust system that produces a throaty exhaust tone when the engine powers up. Under full acceleration, however, that throaty tone, which is the output of the motor/generator combination, becomes boisterous. The noise, along with some vibration, is distracting, since it contrasts with the vehicle’s calm nature in Stealth and Sustaining modes. If the battery is at least 90% charged, the driver can activate launch mode by selecting Sport and pushing the brake and throttle pedals completely. The automobile accelerates. The acceleration is exhilarating, perhaps more so than the sound of the engine.

The painted aluminum-skinned body has an excellent fit and finish, and the inside components are of high quality. Vehicles that rely on computers and software, like the GS-6, may be unstable, but they had no problems during our test drive.

The GS-6 Sport variant takes a half-second less to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. It’s rapid enough, and some are much faster. Tesla is experimenting with 0-60 speeds of less than two seconds.

2022 Karma GS-6

2022 Fisker Karma Price

The company announced that GS-6 is a more economical plug-in hybrid luxury sedan from Karma Automotive.

The GS-6 is now available for purchase, the model starts at a price of $83,900. The starting price for a high-performance GS-6S variant is $103,900. A fully electric GSe-6 variant with a choice of two battery packs—Luxury or Long Range—starts at $79,000 and will be available later this year.

Karma debuted the visually—and mechanically—identical GS-6 versions in autumn 2020, with prices starting at $83,900, more than $60K less than the least priced 2021 Revero GT. The GS-6 appears to be a reasonable value even in its more expensive Luxury and Sport trim levels, which start at $95,700 and $105,700, respectively. When you factor in any applicable local or federal incentives, the deal becomes even sweeter, especially when you consider that the GS-6, like the Revero and Fisker Karma before it, is still mostly hand-built, even after Karma moved its manufacturing facility from Finland to Moreno Valley, California.

The Karma GSe-6 will be a fully electric vehicle with an 85-kWh battery and a 230-mile range, with a 105-kWh variant with a 300-mile range planned. The initial price is $79,900, according to Karma.

The GS-6 Warranty

The GS-6 Series is covered by Karma’s industry-leading powertrain and new vehicle warranties, which include an 8-year/80,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, a 6-year unlimited anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty, and a 4-year/50,000-mile roadside assistance program.