Wards Auto reports the VL Productions Destino is still moving forward. As you may recall, that machine takes a Fisker Karma hybrid, guts the drivetrain and replaces it with a honking 556 horsepower V8 from General Motors. Bob Lutz, while speaking with Wards, confirmed that VL Productions had obtained 20 Karma "gliders" without a battery, engine or electric motor, and that VL may purchase Karma hybrids from dealers currently looking to dump their inventory. Lutz also says that hundreds of current Karma owners have approached VL Productions about the possibility of converting their hybrids to V8 power.

That conversion could cost between $85,000 and $95,000. Right now, VL has around 100 orders for standard Destino models, each with a price tag of $185,000. Not surprisingly, much of that demand has come from the Middle East. Wards reports that the first wave of deliveries are set to begin in the third quarter of this year. Buyers can expect to find a 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 engine lifted from the Cadillac CTS-V under the hood, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.


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  • 51 Comments
      artso06
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bob GM'afied that front end. It's not that attractive.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      This looks infinitely better without that stupid mustache grille
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      carnut0913
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about Tesla coming forward with a conversion kit that changes the charging over to their system.... not up on the battery tech to know if its compatible but that would be slick.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carnut0913
        Too many changes. They Tesla's systems are highly integrated into the car itself. Putting them into something else would require complete re-engineering.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carnut0913
        Tesla is too busy making money to dink around with converting the few hundred Karmas sold. They'd have a heck of a time even breaking even.
      Echelon Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bad News: It loses the electric drive. Good News: It loses the mustache! :)
      Sir Duke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am curious to know how the modifications (removing 4 cyl ICE + Battery + Generator + electric motor) and replacing with LSA motor affect the curb weight?
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        Bob Lutz is quoting a 1100 (or 1400, according to other sites) weight saving over the Karma. Most of that probably comes from the bigass battery pack, which is probably a lot larger than most full electric cars despite the fact that the Karma has the 4 cylinder turbo for range backup.
        Ariste
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        the ls series motors dont way much, my guess the weight would be less with the conversion, those batteries wiegh a bunch
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        I believe Bob said it would drop about 900lbs when he announced it.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the idea behind this, since the Karma is a gorgeous chassis that deserves a drivetrain with some cojones. But I feel their execution is mostly wrong. I don't like what they did visually. The moustache may have been strange, but at least it was distinct, which is a lot more than you can say for this boring nose. And those wheels are putting me to sleep. I think they made the right engine choice, even with all the weight they're losing it's still a heavy car, and the torque of the LSA is appreciated. But no stick? And at that price, it damn well better have an LS9 under that hood. Even when you consider small batch economics, for $200k I expect the engine out of a $100k car, not one out of a $65k car. Which brings me to my final musing, that that price is absolute insanity. An LSA/4L85E GMPP swap package is only $17,000, with wiring, torque converter, everything. So you add in $10000 worth of conversion cost (a high estimate), and you're at ~$30k for the important bits of the conversion. So they're looking for 100% profit on the conversion?
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fisker Karma owners, obsessed with having a "fast", "fuel efficient", "next generation vehicle" when they could save a whole lot of money by buying a model S.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Most Fisker owners will happily admit enjoying the remarkable fuel efficiency of their Karmas, but will also point out the beautiful design was the primary motivator for the purchase.
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        The Model S costs roughly the same as the Karma unless you go for the smaller battery and weaker motor. And can you really call it fuel efficiency when you use no fuel at all? At least not in the typical sense of the word fuel.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @k_m94
          The Karma uses less fuel than any other non-BEV luxury (ie Tesla Model S) sedan. It still uses fuel, when run in Sport or RE modes, so overall gasoline consumption is a metric that can be used to compare it with other cars that also use gasoline.
      Feurig
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a really stupid use of money for what you get. With the conversion, you're looking at around $200,000 for a converted car. You could buy so many other stock sports cars with that.
        waetherman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Feurig
        $200,000 and not just for any "converted car" but a Chevy. Sure the profile is pretty but a car not designed for this kind off ICE isn't going to be well balanced or perform particularly well, I would think. Total waste of money.
        Autoblogist
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Feurig
        Or they could hold on to what would very quickly become a 4700lb paper weight. Do you think these guys will recieve dealership service from an upstart car company with unreliable technology?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Indubitably
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't believe I'm saying this but the crazy mustache grill looks better than this one. Just my two cents.
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hahaha... onya Bob! Take that greenies. V8 in yo face. The final insult would be to do the same treatment to Tesla Model S sedans. That would boil some people's blood. You know who you are.
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        Except in the case of the Tesla, the V8 wouldn't be as fast as the original power plant.
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          I bet that the V8 karma wont be as fast as a Model S Performance version either - despite costing twice as much.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hansen
          It'd probably be faster than the non-performance models.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        Much harder to take a purpose built electric car and convert. It has no room for gas tank, engine, etc, etc. This was just modifying the existing engine and trans while dumping the unneeded stuff. Converting a Model S would make it slower and much less efficient. Converting a Karma makes it faster and more efficient. If they go with an LT1 it might actually be more efficient and greener than the original.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          " Converting a Karma makes it faster and more efficient." Faster, definitely. More efficient? Absolutely not.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          @ Letstakeawalk..I would almost say without a doubt that a LS powered Karma would be more efficient than the original. The original is a gas guzzler. Asking a boosted 4 cylinder to run a full tilt to power a 5000+ pound car is no easy thing.
          axiomatik
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          The Karma doesn't have a transmission. The gas engine is bolted straight to an electric generator. However, the Karma does have a "tunnel" down the length of the floorpan, providing room for the transmission and driveshaft installed by VL.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          @LTAW from EPA website: 2012 Frisker Karma 20 city, 21 hwy, 20 combined 2013 Chebbie Horvette 16 city, 26 hwy, 19 combined The 2014 Corvette is supposed to have even better MPG !!! like I've been saying for years; series hybrids sukc.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Thanks. I am sure it does have a gear reduction of some sorts that would be thrown out in the process. Transmission, gear reduction, tomato, toe-mato.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        A v8 would definitely be slow compared to Tesla's powertrain. There is a video of a Tesla beating a Dodge Viper SRT10 out there. Your blood would be boiled, watching an internal combustion engine losing to something produced by a bunch of northern California yuppies :D
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