Karma Automotive is looking to gain a foothold in China and they are starting by revealing three new models in Shanghai.
Generally speaking when an OEM participates in a car show they may reveal one new vehicle. Occasionally, a brand may reveal two vehicles. However Karma Automotive went for the full hat-trick and brought three new vehicles to the Shanghai Auto Show. The three vehicles make up what Karma calls their “new dawn” of products. Two of the aforementioned cars are heading for production while one is a concept.
So, what is so special about this Karma trio? Let’s take a closer look at each of the “Shanghai Big Three” as Karma refers to it as.
2020 Karma Revero GT
The Karma Revero GT is the brand’s successor to the Revero. It definitely has its roots in where Karma first began but has obviously evolved quite a bit. The 2020 Revero GT will be available for sale in the second half of 2019 and promises significant improvement over the current model. The Revero GT will be more customizable than the Revero and “improved tech and performance.” Like the Revero, the Revero GT is an extended-range hybrid. That means it will use a combustion engine as a generator to power the car’s main battery. In the case of the Revero GT that combustion engine will be a turbocharged three-cylinder sourced from BMW. As you can see from the images, there will be some updated styling as well.
Karma Pininfarina GT Coupe
As the name suggests, this car is the result of a collaboration between Karma Automotive and famed Italian design house Pininfarina. The biggest change is conversion of the vehicle into a two-door coupe. Mechanically the Karma Pininfarina GT is the same as the Revero GT. So, performance-wise nothing is lost. The draw here is the elegant design. Personally, I think what Pininfarina did here looks amazing. Although I have no doubt that this particular model will likely be extremely limited. Thus, the photos here may be the closest thing I’ll ever come to seeing this car in person.
Karma SC1 Vision Concept
The Karma SC1 Vision roadster concept is mean tot be a glimpse into the future. From the looks of things it appears that Karma may start to lean more towards full electrification. The SC1 Vision is not meant to be a range-extended hybrid like the aforementioned vehicles. Obviously, since this is a concept, there isn’t much in specific technology call outs. Though Karma does mention new “infotainment architecture” based on a 5G mobile data connection. Depending on how fast Karma can get the SC1 Vision into production, it may be on the cutting edge of its segment.
In addition to new vehicle reveals Karma Automotive also opened up a bit when it comes to their current and future plans. While Karma Automotive’s production is based in America and the U.S. is it’s first market, CEO Dr. Lance Zhou announced that the brand plans to expand to China by 2021. However, before that they plan to target Europe and the Middle East respectively. Stateside, a major part of their future plans is the Karma Innovation and Customization Center (KICC). The facility first came online back in 2015 but will soon be opened up to customers so that they can personally customize their Karmas in the form of a VIP experience center.
Considering their “out of the box” approach to the future of transportation, I am definitely intrigued to see how things shake out for Karma Automotive. Could they be the dark horse to go up against Tesla and the wave of EV offerings coming from other European OEMs like Audi, BMW, and Porsche? It seems that the potential is certainly there.