Fisker, the electric supercar maker, has won Automobile magazine's 2012 'Design of the Year' for the luxury Fisker Karma saloon.

This award is not an easy thing to win which shows in some of its previous winners in history, these where cars such as the Ferrari 456GT (1995) and the BMW 6-Series (2005).

The Fisker Karma luxury saloon was designed by the company's CEO Henrik Fisker, who has also designed many popular models such as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9.

According to Automobile editors the Karma 'stands to become an icon, even without mention of its range-extended electric powertrain'.

The Fisker Karma is not a true electric car because it comes with a petrol engine to recharge the battery when it runs low.

This has the benefit of delivering extended range compared to the often limited range of an electric car.

Automobile magazine design editor Robert Cumberford points to the Karma's exaggerated proportions with its unusual elongated bonnet and long wheel base as interesting design features. He also points to the use of wood from sunken logs for the interior trim and solar energy receptors in the glass roof.

Cumberford said the Karma "is a beautiful and highly dramatic automobile, unlike anything else on the road today and yet very much like dozens of the most beloved sports cars of the past".

The Karma's designer Henrik Fisker said: "It proves our belief that we can produce environmentally responsible cars without sacrificing the emotional things that make us fall in love with cars in the first place."

Fisker Karma factfile

What is the Fisker Karma?

A stylish electric car that has the lowest emissions of nearly any production car.

When is it available to buy?

The Fisker Karma is available to buy now - for upwards of £70,000.