When we drove out into the desert, the temperature was 105 degrees and it was only 10 in the morning. Heading for the Valley of Fire, about an hour outside of Las Vegas, we knew we were in for a blazing hot day under the Nevada sun.
However, I was cool and comfortable in the driver’s seat of the next generation Karma Revero hybrid. It was fast, solid and the torque from the hybrid engine (they call it a “generator”) was incredible – rushing headlong and unrelenting until I feared for the safety of my license. On my wrist sat the Hysek Abyss Chronograph, a gorgeous titanium chronograph with subtle shades of orange and blue, the perfect companion for this jaunt into the wilderness of red rock, sand and blast furnace temperatures.
We wound our way out of Las Vegas and onto Highway 15, Ehren Bragg from Karma explaining the car to me.
We got off the highway at the Valley of Fire exit, and as soon as we stopped at the last gas station before the National Park, people started approaching the car and taking pictures.
“What is that?” an older guy in the jeans and “Bridges of Portland” t-shirt asked, taking a picture at the same time.
“The Karma Revero,” I replied, not disliking the attention and not dispelling their misconception that the car was mine.
“Fisker designed it, right?” he followed up.
“That’s right, 10 years ago,” I answered.
“For a 10-year-old design, the Revero got just about everything right…oh, and nice watch,” the guy said, before he went into the cool of the station.
The Karma Revero is one of only two cars in the entire world that are series hybrid, as opposed to parallel hybrids. In a series hybrid, the gasoline engine only generates electricity, leaving the electric motor to always power the car. It’s a significant difference, however, and makes the Revero very unique.
The Revero also boasts solar panels on the roof of the car, which augment the electrical power by a few miles every day. It’s not a lot, but it’s something and a step in the right direction.
The Revero has three modes: Stealth (all electric), Sustain (gasoline generator) and Sport (electric and gasoline). Its range is impressive: according to Karma, the car has a total range of 300 miles (50 miles all electric, 250 on gasoline)- enough for just about any adventure.
Best of all, it’s a pleasure to drive. Karma has paid special attention to shielding the cockpit from external noise, and when the car is driving in all electric mode, it’s very quiet indeed. When the gasoline power plant is running, it has a pleasant growl that subsides into a purr.
The interior is very well done, with leather from Bridge of Weir in Scotland, and the 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system is fast, engaging and beautiful. The sound system has eight speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, and there are three USB charging ports.
For safety, the Karma Revero has eight airbags and a lane departure warning system.
The design of the Karma is unlike anything else on the road, hence the attention it gets. The car is low and aggressive, its hook impressively long and its shape sculpted to carve through the air like a hot switchblade through cold butter.
It’s also a joy to just look at – I could easily imagine it sitting in my driveway, and that thought brought a smile to my face. No one will mistake the Revero for a Toyota Prius, and that’s a very good thing.
The Karma is fast, tight, quick and low to the ground, hugging the road and inspiring confidence.
The displays in the car are full of information about where the power is coming from, whether from the gasoline engine or the electric power plant, where it’s going and how much is left.
A hybrid, the Revero can be gas-powered or electric, and you can decide what mix you want at any given time. You can choose how much “engine” braking you want, when you lift your foot off the accelerator, to recharge the battery.
Speaking of the battery, its size is impressive, running down the middle of the car, keeping the center of gravity low and helping the car feel oh-so-planted. The car seats four comfortably, but don’t even think of trying to squeeze in a fifth – it’s not going to happen.
I paired the Revero with a watch that was equally as striking, the Hysek Abyss Chronograph. At 44mm, the watch is impressive on the wrist, but it’s made from titanium with rotating lugs, so it’s very comfortable. The chronograph has a tri-compax design with a date window at three o’clock and a sapphire bezel.
I really enjoyed wearing the Abyss. It was comfortable and solid, and the splashes of color were very welcome. I wore it on the flight over from Switzerland and got a ton of comments on it, the combination of blue and orange accents catching people’s eyes.
I am a sucker for chronographs and I used the Abyss to time lots of things while I was with the Revero, including the time it took to get to the Valley of Fire, its 0-60 time (5.4 seconds) and the time it took people to notice the Revero at the first scenic turnoff in the park (less than the car’s 0-60 mph time).
I heartily recommend the Abyss. It is definitely worth your consideration.
Despite its smaller carbon footprint, you won’t go unnoticed in the Revero. This car turns heads. There aren’t going to be many on the road, and that’s the allure.
For $130,000, you can’t get another car that will attract attention like this one. Every other car on the road is a BMW or an Audi, while Karmas are few and far between.
Which is the point of buying a Karma, and the raison d’etre of the manufacturer.
Pair this beautiful car with the Hysek Abyss Chronograph and you’ll stand out from the crowd, even in a city like Las Vegas.