The VL Destino, a modified Fisker Karma powered by a Chevrolet Corvette V-8 engine, will go on sale by the middle of next year. According to Automotive News, ex-General Motors executive Bob Lutz plans to sell the VL Destino next year for a price tag that approaches $200,000.
At the 2013 Detroit auto show, Lutz and company VL Engineering revealed plans to convert the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid — now defunct after Fisker went bankrupt — into a V-8-powered sports sedan. Instead of the Fisker’s electric motor and four-cylinder gas engine, the VL Destino will reportedly have either a 450-hp V-8 engine or the 638-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
Production of the VL Destino has been put on hold several times. Initially, VL Engineering struggled to find enough Fisker Karma “gliders,” or bodies without powertrain components to use for the conversions. After securing 20 gliders in May, the company now claims to have 25 gliders on hand. Lutz told AN that he is confident the company will be able to obtain more Fisker Karma gliders going forward. Although he did not explain how, earlier reports suggested Lutz was interested in buying some Fisker assets.
The next step is reportedly working on quality and refinement of the V-8 engines and Chevrolet Corvette-sourced transmissions. “I don’t want a rough car that’s hard to drive with a bad transmission and high noise levels. At close to $200,000, these things are going to have to be silky and buttery to drive,” Lutz told AN. VL Engineering also had to work with an Asian technology company to receive unlock codes for the touchscreen infotainment system in the Karma.
VL will display the Destino sedan, as well as one other body style, at the 2014 Detroit auto show. In addition to selling brand-new cars, VL Engineering will convert an owner’s existing Fisker Karma hybrid to V-8 power for about $100,000. Earlier this year, Lutz said that he had received 100 orders for the VL Destino and several inquiries from Fisker Karma owners interested in ditching their hybrid powertrains.