IRVINE, CA --- Fisker Automotive unveiled the Fisker Karma S -- powered by Quantum Technologies' Q-DRIVE -- at the 2009 North American International Auto Show and the car was rated "Best Electric Car" by

Fisker Automotive is an affiliate of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide. 

"The Karma S blends luxury and performance -- and a drop top. Built on the same body as the Karma, the S shows a high mileage vehicle can perform and remain frugal on fuel," said Scott Burgess of

The open-air Fisker Karma S concept shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and Q-DRIVE powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. Designed and engineered by Quantum Technologies for Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE provides 50 emission-free miles on a single charge to its lithium-ion battery pack, and delivers the equivalent of 408 hp and a peak torque of 959 foot-pounds.

The Q-DRIVE, originally developed by Quantum for military applications, incorporates a number of innovations in energy storage, electric drive architecture and control strategies.

In other company news, Fisker Automotive also announced it is building a worldwide retail network to support initial deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid sedan in the fourth quarter of 2009. Vic Doolan, director of retail development, is leading the effort.

Doolan's successful tenures as president of BMW North America and president of Volvo Cars North America "make him well suited for the task," Fisker Automotive said. Specific appointments to the Fisker Automotive retail network will be announced in the coming months.

"Our retail network will give consumers confidence in the Fisker brand and its technology," said Doolan. "Partners will deliver the service to which premium clientele are accustomed."

Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild LLC and Quantum Technologies, is a privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles.