DUBAI: Irish expatriate Robert Norton is the first proud owner of a Fisker Karma, the rage in today’s automotive world due to its eco-friendliness and sleek design.
The 41-year-old real estate executive, who lives in The Lakes, is a long-time green advocate. “I am thrilled to be driving the Fisker Karma, which I believe represents the future of transportation,” said Norton. “The Karma is not only environmentally friendly but it looks stunning as well.”
He’s right, as even Leonardo DiCaprio agrees: the Hollywood star was one of the first owners of the Fisker sedan, known for its liquid sculpture outline.
XPRESS can reveal that Norton’s fancy new car cost between Dh500,000 and Dh600,000. While that’s the price of five Pajeros, Norton’s not bothered.
At night he simply plugs his Fisker into a wall socket in his villa, producing enough juice to cover up to 80km the next day.
The gas engine kicks in if he needs more than that. Norton received the keys to his hybrid before the region’s first Fisker showroom in Dubai Festival City opened late last month.
Norton bought his hot new wheels from Trading Enterprises, which represents the Finnish car manufacturer in several Middle Eastern cities.
Following the unveiling of the Fisker Karma in Dubai, Henrik Fisker, co-founder and executive chairman of Fisker Automotive, said: “Today is a proud moment for the Fisker brand as it is the start of our journey in the Middle East.” The sleek hybrid has made heads turn due to its design and engineering.
The car combines not only power and eco-friendliness, but also a new signature in automotive development — many of its components have come from recycled materials.
Its “coolness” also comes from other factors: a solar panel roof that powers onboard electronics; a power-train consisting of a gas-electric generator, a lithium-ion battery pack that allows the car to zoom from zero to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds, with a top speed of 201km/h, etc. Under the hood, Fisker’s unique engineering includes a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo petrol engine which drives the dual electric motors (the internal combustion engine never directly drives the wheels).
When set on “stealth” drive, only the electric motors kick in, while the sport mode combines petrol and electric engines.
Norton was only preceded by Green Car Rental, which shipped to Dubai its Fisker Karma from the US in July and currently leases it for Dh5,000 per day.
FISKER FAST FACTS
- Two electric motors at the rear wheels generate up to 1,330Nm of torque from zero rotations per minute
- In ‘Stealth’ mode (electric only, which can cover up to 80km), its lithium ion battery gives the oomph of 235hp. In ‘Sport’ mode, this goes up to 403hp
- Hollywood actor and eco-preneur Leonardo DiCaprio is an investor in Fisker Automotive; Justin Bieber drives one too
- Karma’s awards include: Top Gear’s Luxury Car of the Year, Automobile’s Design of the Year Award, TIME magazine’s Top 50 Innovations of 2012, Global Green Design Award, Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte’s Most Stylish Car of 2012, Fast Company magazine’s ‘Innovation by Design’ Awards, Auto Bild magazine’s ‘Golden Steering Wheel Award’, Classic Car of the Future — limousine category, Motor Trend magazine’s Top 10 Future Classics, Environmental Car of the Year for 2012 by Sweden’s Auto Motor Und Sport magazine