Since affordable electric production vehicles hit the market with Toyota’s groundbreaking Prius, auto manufacturers moved to monopolize and, more importantly, monetize the emerging market. Following in the footsteps of Asian marques such as the Prius (now available in compact and plus sizes) and Mitsubishi’s quick-charge Miev, American producers have released outings such as an electric version of Ford’s popular Focus and the most radical — and notable — product, the extended-range Volt from GM.
However, as most auto pundits have pointed out, these cars focus primarily upon efficiency and for the most part lack the style and luxury usually expected by the wealthier demographic that takes a chance on these products, which may be the reason reports are surfacing that GM is taking a loss for every Volt that rolls off the line. A few weeks back we previewed the purely electric (that is, no extended-range gas motor onboard) Tesla Model S, which along with its Roadster equivalent captures the upper middle class; this week our crazy concept is Anaheim-based Fisker Automotive’s Surf concept, a larger back-end version of their hot-selling sedan the Karma.
Unveiled just over a year ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Surf builds upon the class and sophistication of the luxurious Karma while adding flexible utility space geared toward a more versatile lifestyle and carrying capabilities. While very similar in shape to Ferrari’s FF AWD four-seater, the Surf is aimed at a much greener audience and, assuming the vehicle stays close to the Karma’s $100-115K MSRP, is a much cheaper alternative than the $350K+ you’re looking at for the 12-cylinder FF. Though the Karma’s 403 horsepower is fairly reasonable for the price, the FF is packing around 652 horses.
Assuming the tech specs stay relatively consistent (though we wouldn’t rule out a small power boost to compensate for additional luggage weight), the Surf will contain a massive torque of 981 lb.-ft. at zero rpm to complement its ponies and should achieve the Karma’s top speed of 125 mph, probably going zero to 60 in just over 6 seconds (the Karma hits in 5.9). The total range of the electric beast is approximately 300 miles, 50 of them in a “pure electric” mode from charge and the remaining 250 generated from the proprietary EVer extended-range motor. For the emissions-conscious crowd, the Surf can get 100 miles to the gallon (2.4 L/100 km) and will produce 83 g of carbon dioxide per kilometer on an annual basis. We expect the production variant of the Surf to have the luxury of the brand’s well-known ultra-customizable interior and exterior options (making it a celebrity magnet — our Femme on Fire Sarah Rafferty test-drove one just prior to her interview last month!). We anticipate more details will be released later this month at the L.A. Auto Show, so stay tuned!
Check it out at www.fiskerautomotive.com