The Fisker Karma at speed - in total silence - on the Laguna Seca track.

American automaker Fisker has demonstrated its Karma plug-in hybrid at the Laguna Seca race circuit in California, where it is said to have achieved 160km/h in near silence.

The Karma PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is a high performance, four-door coupé designed by former Aston Martin design chief Henrik Fisker whose previous credits include the BMW Z8 roadster.

It's capable of accelerating from 0-100 in six seconds, reaching a top speed of 200km/h and achieving the equivalent of less than 2.4 litres/100km.

It's powered by pair of electric motors that deliver 300kW and a huge 1300Nm to the rear wheels and can travel 80km on battery power alone. Beyond that a 2.4-litre GM Ecotec petrol engine fires up to recharge the Enerdel lithium-maganese battery pack, allowing the Karma a range of 480km.

Fisker intends to have the Karma in production by early 2010 and on sale by May at $89 700 (R710 000). The company plans to build 15 000 a year, all for sale in the US at this stage. - Reuters