The Karma Pininfarina GT is a global affair. Karma is a Southern California based company that is owned by the Wanxiang Group out of China. That team commissioned Italian design and engineering firm Pininfarina to create a two-door coupe concept that even surprised themselves. Pininfarina said, “Typically, Pininfarina reserves the GT (Gran Turismo) designation for only its most exceptional in-house creations; this is the first time in its history that Pininfarina graced a collaborative project with its GT” title.
Karma unveiled three cars at the Shanghai motor show, one of which was the collaboration with Pininfarina. The Pininfarina car has an hourglass shape—slim in the middle and wider in the front and back. The car is electric with an onboard BMW three-cylinder 1.5-litre gas engine as the generator. Karma had good reason for going with the BMW engine, explains Karma’s chief tech officer Bob Kruse.
The BMW engine is: “An advanced, small displacement engine that packages nicely in our vehicle. It helps lower our weight, and get enough power.” Karma also improved on the battery efficiency, bumping up the performance from the 50 miles to 80 miles range. The setup for the Pininfarina is the same as Karma’s other car, the Revero GT, which means it will have output somewhere in the neighbourhood of 535 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque.
While the vehicle is a concept, “It’s a vehicle that’s been designed to go into production,” says Kruse. “It’s an experiment. We want feedback.”