Actor Ed Begley Jr. has long been a proponent of green vehicles.
From Chevrolet’s early experiment, the EV1, to the popular Toyota Prius. And while the TV funnyman — perhaps best known for his role on “St. Elsewhere” — provided exposure to those vehicles, he’s not exactly an icon of cool.
Now, a new kind of hybrid vehicle has emerged with a more glamorous celebrity supporter.
The vehicle operates in two exotically named modes: stealth and sport. While in “stealth,” the Karma uses two electric motors, powered by lithium-ion batteries, which producea top speed of 125 miles per hour. A gas-powered GM EcoTec four-cylinder engine comes into play when running in “sport” mode, charging both batteries and improving acceleration.
At maximum performance, the Karma can produce 402 horsepower and go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just eight seconds. Yet, it returns a remarkable 67 miles per gallon, while offering a 50-mile range in electric-only mode, and up to 300 using the gas engine.
On its Web site, Fisker brags about the use of sustainable materials in the Karma’s construction. It also allows prospective buyers to select an exterior color from a choice of red, blue and several grays, along with two interior palletes.
Karma designer and Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker used a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to help jumpstart production of the vehicle. Back in 2009, Fisker observed a trend toward fuel-efficient vehicles and anticipated the market’s desire for high-end performance.
Fortunately, Fisker’s team also recognized the marketing opportunities inherent in well-known supporters. Thanks to DiCaprio, Fisker has a product that is as sexy as it is sophisticated.