Production is just beginning for Fisker's first car, the Karma, but the company already has a new concept on display at the Frankfurt auto show. The Surf primarily differs from the Karma in body style, as it uses the same electric propulsion system as its predecessor.
Where the Karma is a sleek sedan design, with a roof that curves down to a trunk, the Surf is a hatchback, a style sometimes known as a shooting brake. As such, it has more cargo capacity than the Karma. The greater roof area also allows for a larger embedded solar panel on top.
The Surf, like the Karma, is driven by two electric motors, one on each rear wheel, and a lithium ion battery pack that gives it a range of 50 miles. When the battery is near depletion, an onboard turbocharged four-cylinder engine kicks in, generating electricity to power the motors for another 250 miles. Although Fisker boasts an astounding 981 pound-feet of torque for the power train, acceleration to 60 mph takes 6.3 seconds, well short of supercar territory.
Regenerative braking helps the Surf conserve energy, as it feeds electricity back to the battery. Fisker uses the term EVer, standing for Electric Vehicle extended range, to refer to its power train. Along with the braking, the car can be plugged in to recharge the batteries.