BMW i8 vs. Karma Revero GT: BMW Has Some Stiff Competition

The BMW i8 vs. Karma Revero GT. Both are impressive luxury cars. But which car offers more for the high price tag?
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
When it comes to sports cars, you'd think comparing a
to anything else would be a no-brainer in terms of quality and performance. But it seems automaker Karma is giving BMW a run for its money with its Karma Revero GT. Let’s compare the
BMW i8
vs. the Karma Revero GT to see which model comes out on top!

Plug-in hybrids with a shared engine

The 2020 BMW i8 Coupe produces 369 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque and with a 0-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds. Equipped with a hybrid powertrain, the all-wheel drive BMW i8 Coupe has a pretty abysmal all-electric range of just 18 miles from its 11.6kWh battery, while its combined range comes in at 320 miles. It starts at $148,495. 
Car and Driver
calls the
i8 a "flashy and fuel-efficient alternative to legitimately exotic sports cars," noting that it feels light and swift despite being somewhat impractical with a cheap-feeling interior.
2020 Karma Revero GT
produces 536 horsepower and 550 lb.-ft. of torque with a 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds. With its hybrid powertrain, the rear-wheel-drive Karma Revero GT has an all-electric range of 80 miles from its 28kWh battery with a total range of 360 miles. Starting at $144,800, it's slightly cheaper than the BMW i8 but offers a bit more bang for your buck based on performance specs alone.
Interestingly enough, both the Karma Revero GT and the
BMW i8 Coupe
share the same powerplant—the BMW TwinPower Turbo engine. But the Karma Revero GT beats the BMW i8 Coupe in speed, range, passenger space and—perhaps most importantly—price. The Karma also provides more cabin and trunk space than the i8.
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Wait, isn't it a Fisker Karma?

Not anymore. Henrik Fisker, the designer of the original Karma, is no longer involved in the development of the current Karma, which has now been spun off into its own brand. 
It's a change that came about after Chinese auto parts supplier Wanxiang bought out what was left of
Fisker Automotive
before rebranding and reintroducing the car as the Karma Revero in 2017.
Henrik Fisker is still kicking around, though;
Fisker Inc
. intends to launch its first all-electric SUV, the Fisker Ocean, in the near future.

Improving a lackluster luxury car

If we were making this comparison with the original Fisker Karma and the first iterations of the revived Karma Revero, it wouldn't be so favorable and BMW would definitely take the win here. 
The original versions of this plug-in hybrid were, per
Car and Driver
, impractical, had a small interior, terrible fit and finish and eye-watering pricing that didn't quite track with what you were receiving.
It also had poor all-electric range, about a quarter that of the current Karma Revero and a 0-to-60 time comparable to a Toyota Camry. Its loud four-cylinder turbocharged engine produced just 260 horsepower and chugged fuel like a frat boy chugs light beer.
But the current Karma Revero GT doesn't have those problems. If you were to pick based on specs alone, we'd say go with the Karma over the BMW i8 until BMW can address the pricing, abysmal electric-only range and the cheapness of its interior. Though, if you're into flashy butterfly doors, the BMW i8 might be your thing.
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