When we spoke with Karma Automotive's new president, Marques McCammon, this September, he hinted at an upcoming product launch and a new approach for the brand. He wasn't kidding.
This weekend, Karma unveiled its all-new fully-electric sports coupe called the Kaveya. Featuring butterfly doors and over 1,000 horsepower, the Kaveya signifies a massive pivot within Karma's direction. The startup automaker also teased an updated Revero hybrid and announced its first electric touring sedan, the Gysera.
But this change within Karma's branding didn't happen overnight; instead, it was the culmination of a series of events over the past decade. Can this version of Karma finally deliver – especially at a time when things are tougher than ever for new EV startups?
A Brief Karma Recap
Before we dive into the new Karma, it may be worth recapping how we got here.
The company starts with Fisker Automotive, an early electrified luxury car startup helmed by designer Henrik Fisker (who now runs his own, unrelated venture called Fisker Inc.) The original Fisker Karma hybrid was billed as a kind of early Tesla Model S competitor.
When Fisker Automotive and its battery supplier A123 Systems went bust in the early 2010s, a Chinese automotive conglomerate called Wanxiang saw it as an opportunity to enter the EV space as a manufacturer. Wanxiang purchased the assets of the two for around $400 million. From there, the company was called Karma Automotive, an ode to Fisker's first and only car produced, the Karma. In turn, the Fisker Karma became the Karma Revero, getting various updates over the years.
Just as the Revero was making its mark, Karma "eliminated" the Revero GT and "introduced" the GS-6 for the 2021 model year. Mechanically and visually, the two were nearly identical, though the GS-6 featured some new colors and a more minimalist front insignia. In total, these similar vehicles contributed to around 1,000 sales. To say the least, Karma was collecting dust as if it were a relic on a shelf. It needed a change.
In 2023, Karma Automotive publicly announced its entire overhaul, starting with replacing many of its executives. That started with veteran auto engineer McCammon as its new CEO. McCammon has assertive plans for the company, and his primary goal is for Karma to become an aspirational car brand, not one confused with Fisker.
"We are going to define a design vocabulary that is distinctly ours, where people won't say, 'Is this Fisker or is this someone else,'" McCammon told InsideEVs in September.
At the helm of the design team now is Michelle Christensen, the woman behind the Acura NSX's sharp and flowing aesthetics. She aims to help instill a sense of timelessness within Karma Automotive, creating beautiful products that will age gracefully.
"Karma has such amazing potential, which Marques is intent on pursuing at hyper-speed," Christensen said in a press release from this weekend. "Thanks to high-tech collaboration tools, a newfound team alignment on all levels of the company, and Marques's introduction of low-volume production techniques, it's taken eight months to conceptualize three gorgeous low, long, fast representations of our new Karma identity, which are futuristic, yet beautifully timeless."
That brings us to today. Karma's new lineup will include the Kaveya, a fully electric supercar that looks and should perform the part; the Gysera, a fully electric version sedan; and the Revero, which is effectively an updated GS-6 now called the Revero. Let's take a look at each.
Kaveya: Butterfly Doors And 1,180 Horsepower
The closest thing to the Karma Kaveya is the Karma SC2 concept that was shown to the world in 2019. While nothing transpired of that concept vehicle, the Karma aims to commence Kaveya production in the fourth quarter of 2025. The initial Kaveya that'll hit the roads will offer a rear-wheel-drive setup pushing 536 horsepower. The supercar will house a hefty 120 kWh battery pack aiming to achieve over 250 miles of range; not much for a battery of that size, but the emphasis may be on pure performance here instead.
In the fourth quarter of 2026, Karma says Kaveya all-wheel-drives will begin exiting its manufacturing facility. The all-wheel-drive Kaveya will make 1,180 horsepower, targeting a sub-three-second zero-to-sixty. Its top speed will be in the ballpark of 180 miles per hour. Karma hasn't announced pricing yet, though it will likely be well into the six-figure range given it features exotic materials such as carbon fiber body panels.
Gysera: Karma's Entrance Into The EV-only World
The Gysera will be Karma's first foray into the fully electric space at its launch in late 2024. While Karma has held off on many of its details, we know it will offer a 120kWh battery pack and a 590-horsepower rear-mounted electric motor.
Zero to sixty mph should take less than 4.2 seconds, and Karma is targeting a range of over 250 miles. Again, while Karma could be trying to be more conservative with its range estimates, its mass of 5,300 pounds and not-so-aerodynamic shape don't yield high-efficiency figures. Based on the teaser shots, a hood scoop is present, which appears to better channel air over the vehicle. The GS-6 has a drag coefficient of 0.35, so we expect this to be more aerodynamic.
Revero: The OG Lives To Fight Another Day
Pivoting 360 degrees, Karma is back with the Revero nameplate and its most recognizable design. While it might seem strange to make this move, McCammon said that the Revero name was part of Karma's history and shouldn't be forgotten, "We don't want to escape that (the Revero nameplate) or run away from that because it is a part of who we are," he said. Like Michael Caine in a Christopher Nolan movie, the Revero is a familiar face here for another star turn.
Now offering 65 miles of EV range (up from 61 miles) and a weight of 5,043 pounds (down from 5,062 pounds), the Revero is a slight upgrade from the outgoing GS-6. Its total range still hovers around 360 miles. Thanks to a 536-horsepower rear-wheel-drive motor setup, Karma says its creation can launch to sixty in under four seconds.
Can Karma Do It This Time?
With a new lineup, attractive designs, and updated powertrains, Karma Automotive is definitely setting out to be something new. Becoming an aspirational car brand is no easy feat, but Karma is not an ordinary company; it features a rich, complex, and somewhat wacky history. And that history hasn't always gone in its favor.
Instead of building an electric crossover with an aerodynamic design, Karma wants to do something different. In many ways, its path to relevancy could very well be down the path of becoming a premium niche EV brand. At the same time, it's a rough period for many EV startups. Between sky-high interest rates, constraints on batteries, tough competition and production challenges, even startups like Lucid and Rivian have their share of headaches.
Can Karma finally become the car company its various iterations have always wanted to be? We're about to find out.