“Design must be functional, and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained.”
This of course is a famous quote, by none other than Mr. Ferdinand Porsche himself. Mr. Porsche at the time was referring to the new 356 model. It was bold, elegant and with all the right curves. Its silhouette remains an unmistakable design that is immediately acknowledgeable.
Unlike the early Porsche 356 and now 911, most are not familiar with the Karma Revero, but instantly are drawn to it the same way. With near perfect proportions and hourglass shape, the reactions to the Revero are honest, unfiltered and filled with emotional outbursts. The design is futuristic but relevant. It is low, long, and with curves mimicking that of fluid ocean waves. It has extremely short overhangs with dramatic wide fender arches that cover its 22-inch wheels. It is an aggressive and menacing look, all while remaining exquisitely sexy. This is the only go fast while standing still hybrid grand tourer there is. Nothing else comes close to the immutable 4-door coupe design.
Clearly the unique hand painted badges and KARMA were directly visible, but that was the most common question for the Revero while in my possession. I was interrupted at stoplights, followed off the Toll Road, approached by neighbors, all so they could catch one more glimpse of a vehicle that was something different than anything they’d seen. The general public could not believe that this car could be designed outside of Ferrari, Maserati or any other high-end car brand for that matter. The astonishment continued when I explained that the Revero was designed and assembled in California.
The Revero, Karmas only model as of now, is an ultra luxury plug in hybrid capable of 50 all electric miles. Its dual motor function has a generator under the hood capable of 300-mile gas and electric range. I enjoy this combination for the elimination of range anxiety, especially after aggressive spirited driving. With 981 ft-lbs of torque the Revero can move mountains and is more than fast enough for luxury cruising. The Reveros black roof is not black painted or even carbon fiber. It is an industry first fully functional solar panel drawing power from the light of the California sun. The Karma has three specific drive modes.
Stealth, Sustain, and Sport modes are activated by a pull of a properly weighted steering wheel mounted paddle. All drive modes perform as their titles suggest, and there are no gimmicks or questions like many other car offerings. The infotainment center is a fantastic 12-inch display and has what Karma calls Energy Flow. A vivid rendering of the Karmas silhouette comes to life in a live energy output display, showing fire when internal combustion is present or ice when electricity is flowing. It is absolutely brilliant.
The bespoke design of the Revero continues into the interior, reminding you that at Karma, they don’t follow the rules of luxury car manufacturing. You are surrounded by fine stitched asymmetrical leather seating surface, carbon fiber accents (optional reclaimed wood) and a design all its own. The seating position and the thick heavily weighted steering wheel are superb with a performance car feel. Each of its seating areas are a personal space but not cramped. The interior proportions remind you that this is a sporty four-door coupe first and not some boring people hauler. Small glass viewing windows at the middle console give a glimpse to the highly sophisticated battery system, reminding you and your passengers that they are in something special. There is not one piece of the Karma puzzle that doesn’t fit. Anticipation of startup and driving feel continues with the Reveros emotional appeal. Smooth, powerful, and planted are the key attributes to driving this lux hybrid. No matter the speed or corner, the Revero is confident with immense breaking power leading to very little fuss at hard turn in. It drives and feels much smaller than the spec sheet would suggest.
The Karma Revero is the only ticket into the hybrid electric ultra luxury segment. Sure there will be those who will knit pick and criticize its bespoke forward design. After all, when you pave the way in your own segment with something this dramatic, it is bound to happen. For those people this is not the offering for you. This is a vehicle for California minded people who revere in the different, the limited, and the unapologetic. The Karma Revero is the relevant, fully functional gimmick free and visually aesthetic design that Ferdinand Porsche once described many years ago. Far fetched, I think not. Have a look around as you cruise through Southern California’s elite beach communities and you will know that Karma’s future is as bright as the California sun. This is only the beginning.
By Jeremey Epp