When we think of sports cars, our minds usually conjure images of massive roaring engines with at least eight cylinders, generating enormous amounts of torque and power. We often think of names like Mustang or Camaro, but there’s a relatively unknown entrant in the sports car universe — Karma. This luxury automaker has been creating electric vehicles in Irvine, California, since 2015. Why is Karma in the news again, and what can we expect from their newest automobile — the 2020 Revero GT?
From the outside, it might not look like a hybrid, but this unique sports car pairs a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine with an electric generator. You might not think you’d get a lot of power from a three-cylinder, but the duel-electric motor setup generates 535 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. It’s limited to a top speed of 125 mph, but it’s capable of sprinting from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds, putting it on par with some of the fastest sports cars on the market today.
Its battery pack can run 61 miles in fully electric mode, with a range of 280 total miles in hybrid mode. While it’s not entirely electric, it gives you more bang for your buck at the gas pump.
Unlike other hybrid models, the Revero GT comes equipped with a single-speed automatic transmission, a feature usually found on electric cars. That’s because electric motors don’t need increased RPMs to deliver their maximum torque. They can do it right out of the gate at zero RPMs. Most hybrid models rely on more traditional multi-speed transmissions because they drive primarily on gasoline power.
It’s fascinating to see a hybrid engine equipped with a transmission usually reserved for electric motors. It might become a future trend if the Revero GT proves successful.
There’s nothing worse than draggy brakes, especially when you’re driving a sleek and sexy ride. Karma’s regenerative braking works with its six-piston calipers to reduce drag. It has some customizable options as well, with three levels of regenerative force that the driver can toggle using a shift paddle on the steering wheel. In addition to improving the braking experience, this system helps make the pads last longer.
Regenerative braking works by employing some of the kinetic energy the car loses when it decelerates. Instead of wasting all of that energy, it stores and uses it to help the vehicle accelerate without burning as much fuel — or in Revero’s case, using up as much battery power.
This technology is just beginning to appear in modern automobiles. However, as manufacturers try to make their cars more fuel-efficient, they may soon equip more vehicles with regenerative brakes.
Not all of the Revero’s upgrades are under the hood. This vehicle has a top-of-the-line infotainment system and 3D haptic touch technology that connects the driver to the world around them. It has a sustainable wood and leather interior, and Karma designed it to provide the most connected driving experience possible.
Plug your phone — Apple or Android — into one of the infotainment system’s two USB ports, and your device connects to the Karma app to monitor your car’s battery level and other essential information. You can even integrate a Karma infotainment system with your Alexa account. You read that right — you can check your charge and other info on your Amazon Echo.
Are the 2020 Karma Revero GTs the future of sports cars? It’s too early to tell, but this unique hybrid engine with a 1.5L, three-cylinder engine is a step in the right direction. Even luxury car fans agree we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. There will always be traditionalists who believe you can’t make an electric sports car, but brands like Karma are building outstanding luxury vehicles that break the traditional mold.
The 2020 Karma Revero GT is a fantastic new entrant in the sports car game. It might be a while before Karma becomes a household name outside of its native California, but we won’t be surprised if it manages to do just that.