Fisker Unveils First Production Version of $88K Karma

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.The first production version of the Fisker Karma

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.

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