Karma Automotive has emerged a notable force in the luxury electric vehicle world with 1,000 employees since its launch in 2014, with multiple offices in the U.S. and a manufacturing facility in Southern California. Over these years it has focused on forming relationships with companies developing new technologies, taking engineering risks, and challenging convention in automotive design.
One of its recent forays is a partnership with famed Italian design house Pininfarina to explore a two-door variant of the already-stunning Karma Revero sedan. Known for its design collaborations with the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo, Pininfarina’s efforts have resulted in an all-new, bespoke Grand Touring version of the original Revero.
Pininfarina’s sinewy two-door Karma GT features all-new body sides along with softer overall features and a relaxed shoulder line. Its aggressive front end integrates innovative LED headlamps and a slatted grille with large air intakes, while the rear features an elegant look with boomerang-style taillamps. The Revero’s existing frame and suspension were modified for the coupe design.
Why the partnership with Pininfarina? According to Karma Automotive, it illustrates how the company is moving toward a new business model that shares resources and platforms for creating multiple revenue streams.
“As a relatively young start-up company, Karma does not yet have the deep financial and in-house technological resources of an established OEM,” shares Dr. Liang Zhou, Karma Automotive CEO. He adds that the company will “use partnerships to accelerate our progress by acquiring and developing key technologies important to connectivity, performance, artificial intelligence, shared mobility platforms, and electrification. Partners can use our product platform as an incubator to test and prove their new innovations, and likewise, our engineering and design resources can be offered to help other partners advance their needs.”
If consumer interest is high, it’s possible Pininfarina may build a limited run of Karma GTs at its facility outside of Turin, Italy, with customers able to configure the model to their personal tastes. Regardless of how this evolves, it appears that the Karma/Pininfarina GT collaboration is just the beginning of a long-term relationship between the two companies.