Canadian Exclusive First Drive : 2018 Karma Revero

I stole Batman’s car.

At least that’s how I feel every time I sink into the Bridge of Weir leather-lined cockpit of the 2018 Karma Revero.

And like Batman, I’m not going to pull punches.

The Karma Revero is without doubt, the coolest, sleekest, most gracefully designed full-size 4-door sedan that I have ever experienced – stolen or not. Sure, some will say that it’s just a re-cooked Fisker Karma, but they would be mistaken.

The Revero largely retains the seductive lines of Henrik Fisker’s lost dream, but it brings forth cutting-edge technology immersed within far superior build quality. And with a production rate of just one car per-day, there’s plenty of opportunity for Karma to “get it right.”

Built in an antiseptically spotless facility in Southern California, the Revero is an extremely low-production vehicle.

While the exact number of copies remains a secret, my highly placed source assures me that you’ll see far more Bentleys, Ferraris, McLarens, and Rollers plugging up Vancouver’s Robson Street than you’ll see Reveros.

It’s the exclusivity of this alluring car that’ll attract buyers, likely more-so than its driving dynamics and performance numbers. It’s an attention-getter for sure, but it’s also a car that seduces its driver and occupants with world-class aesthetics, texture, and artistry.

The hand painted emblems adorning the trunk and hood are but a single example of this credo. The same artist produces all of them, giving each example its own distinctive character. And in many ways that defines the Revero, and is what purchasers of exclusivity seek.

Appreciated as rolling art, or not, the Revero is a “connected car” capable of receiving downloaded updates ala Tesla.

Officially considered a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Revero has a pure electric range of 80 km before its 4-cyclinder gas-fired engine whirls to life. The engine powers a generator, which feeds electricity into the 21kWh battery to sustain movement.

Movement, which could include up to 500 km of driving if fully-charged and fuelled, making the Revero an ideal grand touring sedan for four. They best pack light though, trunk space is limited, and unlike a Tesla, there is no frunk.

Also, unlike Tesla, is the presence of a solar-panel roof, which can reportedly contribute up to 1,000 km of gas-free Revero driving per year in sunny climates.

Under EV power, the Revero is as refined and quiet as a Tesla. Its surge of electrically-induced torque is deeply rewarding when a driver’s enthusiasm percolates to the surface; all while cornering dead-flat and secure thanks to its auto-levelling suspension.

A pair of electric motors propel the rear wheels, delivering up to 981 lb-ft of torque and 403 horsepower. So how fast is the Revero 0-100 km/h? I’ll let Karma answer.

“We have enough. To move you. In every way.”

Rather an oblique, stuttered response, but be assured, one is not left behind when the light hits green.

A highlight for me is the Revero’s ability to deliver a notably smooth, controlled ride without compromising its on-road athleticism. It’s body structure remains rock solid while its underpinnings absorb the City’s worst without protestation.

It’s these qualities, combined with a luscious cabin and futuristic design, that ignited a sense of delight each time I took to the wheel of my Borrego Black tester.

While the detail-oriented might focus attention on specs, such as battery range, which may not be the latest and greatest, or upon the quirkiness of the vehicle, with its exhaust outlets next to the front wheels, they’d be missing the bigger picture.

This is a premium vehicle, which makes a dramatic statement of exclusivity and style that resonates with those who like to stand apart from the crowd, not in it.

Several weeks ago, I road-tested a Tesla Model S. Certainly a fine car, which has pushed the boundaries of automotive electrification – but you know what? No one cared or looked twice as I passed by.

That’s not the case with the Revero. It draws attention from onlookers of all ages while provoking a litany of questions and comments. “What kind of car is that?” “It’s so cool!” “Is it electric?”

Other than cost, not a negative word was spoken by those I interacted with. At roughly $160,000, the Revero is not a vehicle for the masses – but that’s just the point.

It’s for superheroes and those who reject conventionality but carry wallets fat enough to fund their taste for exclusivity beyond that which BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Tesla, and the likes can offer.

In fact, rumour has it that an elegant woman is ditching her Tesla for a Bat Mobile, and that’s exactly how she describes her new Revero. Unfortunately, mine has to be returned ASAP. Robin needs a ride to school.

2018 Karma Revero
Price as tested (before taxes): $160,000.00
Configuration: PHEV with rear-wheel drive
Power/torque: 403 hp / 981 lb-ft
Range: Electric 80 km / Hybrid Combined 500 km
Competitors: BMW 740e, Cadillac CT6 Plug-in, Mercedes-Benz S 550e, Porsche Panamera eHybrid

Related links:
Karma Automotive
Motor Trend

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