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This Car is Not for You (Or Me).

Tesla, Karma, and the huge swath they're missing

YouTube has been showing me ads for Karma Automotive for the past few days. So I decided to take a look. 

What I found was the Karma Revero...a stunningly gorgeous hybrid that'll run 50 miles all-electric, with an engine to charge the batteries to reach 300 miles of range.  

While its ballpark 400bhp isn't amazing, it does sport a butt-clenching 981 ft. lbs. of torque to launch it to 60mph in a respectable (honestly seems kinda slow for those numbers) 5.2 seconds. 

But who cares when it looks like THAT?

After I got done "Wowwww"-ing out loud to no one in particular, I was left with the same feeling I had when Tesla emerged - the impracticality. 

Yes, most of us drive less than 200 miles a day. Far less. A great many of us have garages where we could dutifully plug in our cars at night, or explain to our bosses the next morning that we "forgot to charge the car" and we'll be late. 

But why hasn't this technology truly hit the mainstream car market yet? 

We've had hybrid Accord's, Optima's, etc. for years that give us an average 10 extra miles to the gallon. Not overly-compelling.

The champions of the hybrid world that get the outstanding mileage are 1) too small for anything other than very light-duty use for a family, and 2) look like they won a design contest where entries were made by the same third grade class that named the new gorilla at the zoo "Spazzy McFuzzybutt".

Meanwhile I'm in my 7-seater crossover happy if I can pull 25mpg out of a tank. And it's a 4-cylinder.

Without a turbo.

Head down to any elementary school around the end of their school day and you'll see a long line of minivans and crossovers sitting there waiting. 


These are the people that need plug-in hybrids...the people who would pay the premium for options that are going to save them in the long run...that'll have the tree-huggers dancing in the streets over a reduction in emissions. 

"But what about the Model 3?"

Short on range, and pales in comparison to other Tesla models.  You've spoiled us, Mr. Musk.

"Tesla also makes a crossover."

...for $90k.  I'm sorry, I'm not dropping $90,000 on something my 4 year-old is going to spill apple juice and goldfish crackers in.

"The Chevy Volt.  The Prius.  The Nissan Leaf.  Hell, even Kia has a little crossover now that gets around 50mpg."

Again, with Spazzy McFuzzybutt.  Although the Kia actually has looks. 

Car companies selling in America have adapted and responded to what we need on a day-to-day basis.  The ability to take our kids, and the excessive amount of crap they require, wherever we're going.  But the power plants in these vehicles keep us chained to the gas pump, while the few who have the luxury of a low-maintenance life can take it one step farther and miss the gas station entirely.  That's certainly not a "class warrior" statement; if you have the means, then by all means do so. I'm just wondering what's stopping BMW from taking the 3-cylinder hybrid power plant in their hot-ass i8 and dropping it in an X5. 

Why is the Volt even a car?  Drop that power plant in the Cruze and Equinox and get that eyesore out of your lineup.

Honda's 2018 Accord will feature a couple brand new turbos.  How about spending less time, money, and energy on building an engine with more internal pressure than Kim & Kanye's marriage and give the DROVES that buy Accords something smarter than the rest? 

Until then the Karma Revero will have to wait...at least until I'm middle-aged and picking my 4-year-old up at college...where I'm sure all her friends will be very impressed...  

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