VL Automotive is closely tied up with Fisker. The company's first product, the Destino, is a converted Karma and the Destino Red Concept, just unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, is the same hardtop Karma convertible that Fisker showed in 2009. So, what a surprise it was to see that Bob Lutz, who owns half of VL Automotive, is ready to convert a brand new electric vehicle: the Tesla Model S. A gas-powered Tesla? Say what?

A gas-powered Tesla? Say what?

That's at least one way to read this short article in The Detroit News. There's not a lot of context and a distinct lack of details, so we're left wondering if maybe Lutz just meant that Model S owners can buy a Destino. You can read the exchange for yourself here.

What we do know is that Lutz said that VL Automotive has already sold nine Destino conversions. The cars cost $200,000, up from the previous estimate of $180,000, and well above the $116,000 max price tag on the original Karma. For your money, you get a 6.2-liter V8 taken from a Chevrolet Corvette that puts out 636 horsepower and can beat the 135-mile-per-hour top speed that the Karma has. Lutz said that all could add up to sales of around 200 or 300 Destinos each year.


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  • 91 Comments
      offib
      • 11 Months Ago
      From the man who brought us VIA Motors and the Volt, I'm proverbially baffled to why Destino exists. The best thing about it is that it has a shape of a Fisker, but its grill, bonnet and paint makes it look like a toy, or a Chinese rip off that copied its design.
      GR
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is literally retarded. Taking a more advanced propulsion technology and reverting it to an internal combustion engine running on fossil fuels is really a step backwards. Also, aren't there enough large displacement V8's in the world?
        BipDBo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @GR
        The Destino makes sense because the Fisker Karma had a great design, but it's propulsion system was a total piece of crap. Tesla has a great propulsion system and the company is doing well. Lutz isn't doing anything stupid like hacking up perfectly good Teslas. Auto journalists are just trolling with this non-story.
        CoolWaters
        • 11 Months Ago
        @GR
        They like old TECH, look how their fawning over inferior 1920's light bulbs. Being 70 and senile has it's disadvantages.
      Matt Brown
      • 11 Months Ago
      It would without a doubt make the car worse, but I would love to see the conversion done by someone, if just for novelty sake.
        The Wasp
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Matt Brown
        While we're at it, I'd love to see a Nissan Leaf, Scion iQ, MINI-E (whatever it's called), BMW Active3Hybrid (same) with large, 600hp V8 engines. I don't think there is a strong business case for such a venture.
      BipDBo
      • 11 Months Ago
      Original article: Will the conversion be available to Tesla Model S owners? “Yes,” Lutz said. No, He's not converting Teslas. That's idiotic. He's just saying that yes, Tesla owners can buy a Destino.
      John
      • 11 Months Ago
      If Lutz said it, it's guaranteed to be hot air.
      danfred311
      • 11 Months Ago
      The man is stupid but probably not that stupid.
      • 11 Months Ago
      What would be really cool is the model s drive train in the fisker body
      eric.sales
      • 11 Months Ago
      The same Bob Clutz who said the remake of the GTO will do better than the original......
      Barry
      • 11 Months Ago
      Well Bob you just defeated the whole purpose of Tesla. Fisker just went toes up, why don't you buy it and make the Fisker a V8 powered car? I'd rather see it sold to an American company than Chinese.
      m_2012
      • 11 Months Ago
      Please stop with the misleading headlines! Who checks this crap? VL has no intention of doing conversions on Model S, and even if they did, it cannot be done. A main structural piece, the battery, would need to be removed. Fuel tank, exhaust plumbing, etc.
      Matt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Yeahhhh...no. Where would he even put it? In the frunk?
      CoolWaters
      • 11 Months Ago
      I somehow get the feeling Lutz STILL has NOT driven a Tesla. This is dangerous in a CEO who's supposed to know something.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Guess who said this: "[Tesla's] stock's doing well and everyone's got a buy on it. Meanwhile, they're losing a ton of money. My philosophy always is, if you have a desirable product, you can muddle your way past the financial problems. Elon Musk and the team were smart enough to get, without question, some of the world's finest designers on the Model S. The car is so beautiful that you look at it and say, "I don't care what drives it, I just want one." That's really the secret of this business. I honestly think they're going to make it." Go on, just guess.
          Grendal
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Very nice quote from Bob. The reality is that he didn't even say they were going to be putting V8's in a Model S. This is a typical media hype of something taken out of context. It riles up the true believers and gets a lot of clicks though. I myself have fallen for similar things on many occasions.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CoolWaters
        He's not a CEO anymore.
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