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Fisker Karma Misses Mileage, Battery Range Goals

Luxury plug-in hybrid falls way of claims, says EPA.

by on Oct.20, 2011

The Fisker Karma is fast and sexy - but it doesn't deliver the range or fuel economy initially promised.

It’s hard to argue about its stylish design, but when it comes to range and fuel economy claims the new Fisker Karma falls well short, according to the EPA.

Developed by former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, the Karma is the first in a planned series of offering from California start-up Fisker Motors.  The goal was to develop a striking, high-performance sports car that also could lay claims to being a green machine.

But the official numbers from the EPA don’t quite support that.  Balancing the car’s electric and gasoline performance in a series of simulations the feds came up with a 52 MPGe rating.  And while that’s on a par with what one might expect from the decidedly slower and less stylish Toyota Prius, it’s well short of the maker’s promised 67.2 MPGe, or miles-per-gallon equivalent.

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Range, meanwhile, came in at just 32 miles on battery power alone compared to Fisker’s anticipated 50 miles per charge.

And since that means the vehicle will likely be driven a lot more often on gasoline power alone the EPA’s other figure might be equally disappointing, with the car rated at just 20 miles per gallon in the combined cycle.


Fisker Launches Surf Shooting Brake

Second plug-in hybrid aimed at boogy boarders with bucks.

by on Sep.15, 2011

Fisker's Surf offers a more functional take on the California start-up's new plug-in hybrid.

Just weeks after delivering its first plug-in hybrid to actor Leonardo Di Caprio, Fisker is ready to roll out an all-new version of its coupe-like Karma sedan.

The new Fisker Surf offers an alternate take with a distinctly European flair that some might be tempted to compare to Ferrari’s new FF shooting brake – which can be found a few stands down at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The sporty design is likely to connect with buyers on the Continent, where wagons remain extremely popular but, in fact, the name, Surf, suggests that Fisker’s design team had California in mind.  The new model is now big enough to conceal a surfboard.

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That’s good news considering one of the biggest complaints about the Karma is the lack of a useful trunk, its cargo compartment measuring a meager 7.1 cubic feet.  The Surf nearly doubles that, at 12.7 cf, and with the rear seat down it jumps to 29.0.