Karma Automotive Seeks Comeback With Two Unveils in LA

Karma, the once up-and-coming automaker of the future, has resurfaced recently as a newly-owned hope towards an electrified manufacturer of high-end vehicles. Recently, in Los Angeles, the company unveiled two new tech-focused supercars for the EV minded. Press releases follow the small photo gallery.

2020 Karma Revero GTS

Karma Automotive has launched its new 2020 Revero GTS during AutoMobility LA and the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new GTS, a performance version of the company’s luxury electric Revero GT which debuted earlier in 2019, will feature a host of performance upgrades, including new Karma IP and technology.

“The Karma Revero GTS is a special continuation of the success of our definitive luxury electric Revero GT,” says Karma CEO, Dr Lance Zhou. “The GTS offers enhanced performance for the driving enthusiast, adding diversity to our growing product range. All our vehicles are hand-built in our $100-million-dollar Karma Innovation and Customization Center here in Southern California, providing customers with the ultimate in personalization and customization.”

The new 2020 Revero GTS delivers a host of performance enhancements, including an improved 0-60mph of less than 3.9 seconds, electronic torque vectoring and an electronically-limited top speed of 130mph. An upgraded exterior includes carbon fiber trim, while a reimagined interior features Karma’s new in-house Soloscape audio technology and haptic tactile steering wheel switches – a feature also integrated into the company’s new electric hyper car concept, SC2. The Revero GTS also qualifies for HOV-lane single occupancy in several states.

“There is much more to the GTS than a beautiful design and outstanding performance,” says Karma VP of Engineering, Todd George. “We’ve developed a number of in-house technologies, including our own inverters to maximize and maintain full software control for fast over-the-air updates, and our own proprietary 7.1-channel 570-watt Soloscape audio system.”

The Revero GTS brings all the premium features of Karma’s hallmark Revero GT; dual electric motors and a Twin Power Turbo three-cylinder in-line engine, an on-board electric generator and enhanced overall vehicle capability. Driving range is up to 360 miles, with 80 miles of emissions-free all-electric driving powered by a 28kWh NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) lithium-ion battery featuring higher overall density, improved power output and enhanced safety features.

Drivers can select from three different drive modes via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters:

  • Stealth: pure-electric, emissions free driving
  • Sustain: turns on the range-extending generator to preserve the battery pack’s power for use when the driver chooses
  • Sport: combines the output from the battery pack and the generator for maximum driving performance

As part of Karma’s commitment to technological innovation and advanced mobility solutions, the company has integrated several new technologies into its Revero product line. Both the Revero GTS and GT are equipped with Karma’s in-house inverters to convert DC current from the battery pack to power the AC drive motors, and to also capture AC power from the regenerative braking system to recharge the battery pack. A new single-speed gearbox is situated between the twin motors and Karma inverters. Because Karma has integrated its inverters with the drive motors, the RDM delivers improved size, weight and handling. Revero’s re-designed brake calipers reduce unwanted drag on the rotors and improve driving range, while new suspension bushings and valves improve damping and handling. Refined electrically-assisted power steering is precise, creating a smooth, powerful driving experience.

Launch control, a feature in both the new Revero GTS and GT, brings special appeal to driving enthusiasts. To activate, drivers select Sport mode, then apply brake and accelerator pedals. The generator then starts the range extender, which spins up to 4,000 rpm to generate maximum electrical power. As the generator ramps up, the digital instrument panel starts a countdown for launch. When the Revero indicates it is ready, the driver releases the brake, keeps the accelerator pinned, and the generator and the battery unleash all their power into the rear axle. The instrument panel speedometer turns into a stopwatch and shows elapsed time as the Revero reaches 60 mph.

Inside the Revero GTS, a lavish interior features comfortable and ergonomic design, with ventilated seats and touch-sensitive steering wheel controls. A new electric architecture with faster processors properly supports an intelligent driving environment, including enhanced UX/UI, more energy-efficient touch screens, and active noise cancellation. Oak and elm interior inlays come from naturally-felled trees salvaged from King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, while sustainably sourced, high-quality leathers from Scotland’s famed Bridge of Weir® give the Revero GT a sumptuous feel. Karma’s in-house customization opportunities such as one-off paints, interiors, seats, stitching and jewels make each vehicle unique.

Karma’s present momentum is also driven by a period of rapid product introduction, including the current U.S. launch of its 2020 Revero GT luxury electric vehicle and a new Karma global platform in 2021, all supported by a rapidly increasing, global retail footprint. The 2020 Karma Revero GTS has a $149,950 MSRP and is now available for preorders through Karma’s North American retail partners, with production beginning in first quarter of 2020.

Karma SC2 Concept

Karma Automotive today launched its SC2 concept car during AutoMobility LA and the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Featuring cutting-edge technology and design, SC2 is a bold demonstration of Karma’s emergence as a high-tech mobility incubator, embodying world class luxury design and Karma IP.

“Karma’s SC2 is a signpost to our future as a technology-driven brand. More than that, it previews our future design language, and is a thought-provoking expression of Karma’s future Intellectual Property and product offerings,” says Karma Automotive CEO Dr Lance Zhou. “Our open platform serves as a test bed for new technologies and partnerships, where we are to provide engineering, design, technology and customization resources others.”

A striking full BEV concept, SC2 delivers an impressive 1,100 HP and advances from 0 to 60mph in under 1.9 seconds. Front and rear mounted twin electric motors deliver 800 kW peak power, with 10,500 lb.-ft (14,000 Nm) wheel torque. SC2 provides 350 miles of pure electric range, and is equipped with carbon ceramic brakes, a push-rod operated racing suspension and a Karma torque vectoring gearbox. An ultrasonic dynamic regenerative panel gives SC2 high performance handling and hand braking expected in an electric hyper car. The result is a vehicle as adept at navigating the tight curves and adrenaline-inducing straights of California’s mountain, canyon and coastal regions as it suited to stun Hollywood’s elite along Los Angeles’s famed Rodeo Drive.

“SC2 presents an optimistic and bold message about Karma’s future as we enthusiastically accept the challenge of elevating experience-driven mobility,” says Karma VP, Global Design and Architecture, Andreas Thurner. “In creating SC2, we have enhanced the thrill of the open road through connected, interactive patented technology, beyond that of a traditional high-performance luxury vehicle.”

Through Karma’s one-of-a-kind Drive and Play® technology incorporated in SC2, automotive and gaming enthusiasts can re-live their previous drives through simulated driving experiences in their own vehicles. A triple high definition camera under the windshield and frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar sensors provide 360 capture of the car in motion, within a 3D environment. Simultaneously, SC2’s intelligent technology captures the entire driving experience in real-time; turns, braking, acceleration, light simulations, sounds, air temperature and audio playlist. After the drive, SC2’s adaptive laser projector replays the journey while the vehicle is parked, while a mounted smartphone acts as the cabin’s rear-view mirror; transforming SC2 into a driving simulator where the user can re-experience their drive and fine-tune their skills. Drivers can then share their Drive and Play® experience with others, and also stream drivers’ routes from around the world within their own vehicles, experiencing driving simulations at world-famous roads and race tracks.

“SC2’s extreme design and proportions are expressive of Karma’s unique intersections of technology, performance and luxury,” says Thurner. “We challenged ourselves to design a street-ready hypercar concept, using Karma’s in-house IP and components. Now, through Karma’s open-platform, SC2’s technology can be integrated into a variety of future vehicles.”

SC2 embodies Karma’s distinct design identity in its stance and surface. A bespoke Vapor Gray hand-painted body draws inspiration from the brand’s sleek, technology-focused future, while optimized aerodynamics leads the exterior design. Generous length from front axle to windscreen remains a distinct Karma design characteristic, while patented articulating hinge winged doors gently rising upward and forward to reveal a fiber optic headliner and stunning silhouette. Inside SC2, an I-shaped 120kWh battery is housed in the center tunnel beneath the dashboard and seats.

Long-range radars, cameras, and FMCW lidar sensors throughout ready SC2 for a safe and realistic autonomous future, while Karma’s Ultra Sonic Sensor Stalk technology supports launch control and regenerative braking, lending itself to a harmonious blend between regeneration and friction brakes. Vehicle entry is through fingerprint and facial recognition sensors. Inside the cabin, intelligent technology enhances the user experience: Biometric seats and steering wheel provide both control and comfort, 3D audio creates individual sound zones for driver and passenger, and electro chromatic glass shifts from clear to opaque for privacy and light sensitivity.

Beyond its growing technology story, Karma’s current momentum is also driven by a period of rapid product introduction, including the U.S. launch of its 2020 Revero GT luxury electric vehicle, to be followed by a new Karma global platform in 2021 and supported by a rapidly increasing retail footprint.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.