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Karma Revero GTS and SC2 concept plot the way forward

Jonathon Ramsey

The Karma Revero GTS and SC2 concept occupy two places in the automotive spectrum, but point to a single destination for Karma Automotive. In their ways, Karma has designed them to exhibit the brand's intent to expand beyond the mechanics of electric car production. The Revero GTS pushes the Revero GT further, using the same 536-horsepower twin-motor setup and Karma-designed inverters integrated with the motors. The sprint to 60 miles per hour has been cut by 0.7 seconds to 3.9 seconds, top speed increases five miles per hour to 130 mph. Dynamic improvements include new suspension bushings and valving for more supple damping.

Changes are subtle throughout, nothing but a splash of carbon fiber exterior trim and GTS badging appearing to separate the hotter sibling from the GT. The interior is fitted with haptic steering wheel switchgear, Karma's proprietary 570-watt Soloscape audio, ventilated seats, and Bridge of Weir leather. Preorders are being taken now for $149,950 before destination, a $15,000 bump over the Revero GT. Production will begin in the first quarter of 2020.

The Vapor Gray SC2 concept strikes us as the second coming of the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, and we're totally OK with that; the pure electric hypercar puts a roof on the SC1 roadster concept Karma took to Pebble Beach this year, and looks more well-proportioned for it. In the previous teaser photo, we thought we were in for another set of gullwing doors, but those long, unfurling, insectoid wings would make a set of gullwings shy. And check out what looks like a piece of integrated luggage set into the front fender under the door. The interior is all the sharp-edged, color-keyed, future-cool minimalism tomorrow's hitman could want. Entry is done through fingerprint and facial recognition, the seats and steering wheel respond to biometrics, fiber optics run through the headliner, and the side glass is electrochromatic. 

A mongo, I-shaped 120-kWh battery powers electric motors delivering 1,100 hp and 10,500 lb.-ft of torque, said to be good for a 0-60 mph blast of less than 1.9 seconds, that time having become the magic benchmark for EV screamers. Claimed range is 350 miles, not that you'd ever get that far thanks to acceleration runs and the promise of exceptional handling thanks to a pushrod suspension.

Another piece of in-house tech is the Drive and Play technology. The SC2's HD camera and lidar sensors capture a 360-degree rendition of the environment during a spirited drive, and a data logger records driver inputs. The drive can then be played back as theater using an adaptive laser projector inside the cabin, right down to the temperature and playlist. A smartphone mount above the windshield even acts as a rearview mirror for verisimilitude. 

This SC2 previews Karma's future design, and the electronic bits give a glimpse into Karma's ideas for wider interactions with EVs. There's a brand new platform on the way come 2021, so we're looking forward to what filters through to production.