Fisker Automotive is best known for pissing off Tesla Motors and introducing the Karma, an $80,000 luxury plug-in hybrid set to debut later this year. Turns out the startup company has another trick up its sleeve: a $39,000 mid-sized sedan, partially funded by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Fisker plans to produce 100,000 low priced sedans annually when manufacturing begins in 2012, most likely in a retooled U.S. car factory. Each sedan will be outfitted with batteries in the $12,000 to $15,000 range. No word on how the car will be distributed, but the Karma is being sold by traditional dealerships in the U.S. and Europe.
The move to manufacture a lower-priced sedan mirrors a similar plan by Tesla, which is working on a $57,000 plug-in vehicle (the Model S). It's hardly cheap, but is much more accessible than the $109,000 Roadster. Both the Model S and Fisker's new mystery car are intended to capitalize on the growing interest in plug-in vehicles without sacrificing the luxury nature of the two companies' brands.