You didn't think Henrik Fisker was done with the Karma, did you? The father of that stylish hybrid is returning to the design, teaming up with Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal to transform the hybrid into an all-American, eight-cylinder performance sedan.
As you may recall, Lutz and Villarreal formed VL Automotive a few years ago with plans to retrofit Fisker Karmas with Corvette V8s, calling the reworked product the VL Destino. Now Henrik Fisker has signed on to the project as head of design and product strategy, with Lutz serving as chairman and Villarreal as CEO under the newly renamed VLF Automotive.
The joint plan calls for swapping the hybrid powertrain out of the Karma and replacing it with the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the previous Corvette ZR1. In stock form, the LS9 makes 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. The VLF Destino is estimated to hit 60 in 3.9 seconds and top out at around 200 miles per hour. That will make it a world-class performance sedan capable of tangling with the finest imports, but will be retrofitted right here in America – in Auburn Hills, MI, near the Chrysler headquarters where Lutz once occupied the big corner office.
VLF Automotive is showing the revised Destino at the Detroit Auto Show alongside the Force 1. We're trying not to get too excited about the prospect of a Fisker sedan with American muscle, as the Destino is slated to retail for $229,000 – which is even more than Aston Martin, for example, gets for the Rapide S or Porsche does for a Panamera Turbo S.
The new company gutted the GM drivetrain and is using BMW now. Pricing is rumored to be around $135,000 compared to $115,000 for the original Karma. It's hard to see them selling more than a thousand units a year.
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