Leonardo DiCaprio gets the keys to a $100,000 car — a hybrid
Leonardo DiCaprio has a new toy: He's been seen getting behind the wheel of a $100,000 sportscar that happens to be a hybrid — and it's a $100,000 car DiCaprio and his trusty Toyota Prius helped to inspire.
"A couple of years ago it started, by people who were maybe a little ahead of their time. You saw some movie stars like Leonardo DiCaprio buying a Prius," car designer Henrik Fisker told Reuters in 2009, describing how he married the idea of a good-looking, fast car with the notion of going green.
"He could have bought any car in the world," Fisker said at the time, "and I remember seeing that on television and thinking to myself, you know, when you've got a guy who could buy any Ferrari or Rolls-Royce and he's buying a Prius, you know something is changing dramatically."
Performance-wise, DiCaprio's 2012 Fisker Karma hybrid easily kicks the Prius' rather shapeless butt, going from zero to 60 in 5.9 seconds, compared with the Toyota's Edmunds-clocked 10.1. That 5.9 is in the Karma's "sport mode," which adds some internal-combustion oomph to the car's battery power. In "stealth mode," using battery power alone, it takes an additional 2 seconds to hit 60.
No telling which mode DiCaprio was about to engage when photographers got a picture of him getting into his new ride — though we'd love to think that "stealth" would've make it easier to avoid the paparazzi.
The Karma also laughs at the Prius' 80 horsepower, but in a laugh so complicated we have to trust the details to the folks at Car & Driver.
When it debuted at the 2009 L.A. Auto Show, the Irvine-manufactured Karma had an estimated base price in the $87,000 range. The 2012 Karma, however, clocks in at $96,895 for the base model and closer to $110,000 for the fancy-pants version.
Still, and if anyone wins a big-screen car chase in one of these babies any time soon, you'll know the driver's probably acting: "[T]he physics conspire against it keeping pace with other $100K sports sedans," C&D noted. "In spite of the joys of low-rpm electric torque, the realities of a curb weight well above 4000 pounds and only one gear ratio mean that mileage is where this car excels."
Yeah, well, the earlier numbers look pretty impressive until you remember they're going up against a Prius. A Bugatti Veyron like the $1.7-million ride that Flo Rida was in when he was pulled over on suspicion of DUI does the zero-to-60 thing in, what, less than 3 seconds? So, yeah.
That said: The Karma, which averages around 67 mpg, can go 50 miles on a single battery charge and 300 total when the gas engine kicks in. And really, what A-lister drives himself any farther than that?
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photos: A Fisker Karma hybrid is shown by Henrik Fisker, left, at the 2009 L.A. Auto Show. A 2012 model of the $100,000 car now belongs to Leonardo DiCaprio, right, shown in 2008 at the Golden Globes. Credits: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times, left; Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times, right.