Startup Fisker Automotive has unveiled the first production version of its plug-in hybrid, the Karma, and said the car would be on display at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Not much has changed from the prototypes seen since last year’s event; according to the company, external design tweaks — such as the grill, now larger at the outside corners — have been minor. A bigger change, however, can be found in the base price, which is now set at $87,900, up from the $80,000 price tag touted at last year’s show.
Fisker last month finalized plans for Valmet Automotive of Finland to assemble the Karma when it reaches full-scale production. Today the Irvine, Calif.-based startup slightly narrowed its window for entering the next phase, delivery to North American showrooms, saying it expects to begin that in November of 2009, compared with the fourth-quarter time line laid out in previous announcements.
As we’ve noted before, that’s an ambitious schedule. Manufacturing and production — things Detroit’s Big Three have had decades to master — can prove to be a minefield of delays for green car startups.