Surf, the new Fisker flying brake, unveiled in Frankfurt

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2010 Fisker Karma

The original 2010 Fisker Karma sedan at the Chicago Auto Show. Image: Aaron & Alli/Flickr/CC BY

Tuesday Fisker unveiled its new Surf hybrid wagon, the latest addition to the Karma line, at the Frankfurt auto show. The car appeals to environmentally conscious drivers with families. It offers a stylish yet family-friendly design.

The company’s new flying brake

The Surf is the new “flying brake” incarnation of Fisker’s 2010 range-extended electric vehicle, the Karma. A flying brake is a style of vehicle that combines a sedan with a station wagon. The Surf is a two-door vehicle with a backseat, cargo space and a hatch-back door.

According to co-founder Henrik Fisker, the Surf is an “eco-friendly lifestyle vehicle that offers space, performance and luxury design for people who live an active, environmentally conscious lifestyle and like to drive beautiful cars.”

A green family dream

Car and Driver says the name of the vehicle is misleading because it does not resemble other vehicles associated with California surfers. However, the vehicle does sport a wave-like, fluid, stylish design. The company’s own press humbly calls it a “design masterpiece.” That may be a bit self-aggrandizing, but the car does combine luxury, utility, style, economy and ecological awareness into perhaps the most family-friendly package yet available.

Performance Car and Driver calls ‘quick and agile’

Beneath the new flying brake shell, the Surf has the same aluminum space frame, suspension and electric power-train as the Karma sedan. Despite its increased cargo space, the company says the Surf is only 66 pounds heavier than the original sedan. It uses two 150 kW electric motors, a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine and a lithium-ion battery.

The battery pack will operate the car for up to 50 miles. At that point, the GM four-cylinder engine starts up, turning on a generator to extend the range by as much as 300 miles. Performance should be much the same as the Karma, which Car and Driver called “quick and agile.”

Hits market mid-2012

According to the auto maker, the Surf will reach the market in mid-2012 and will be sold as a 2013 model for a little more than $100,000.


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