Ever look at an EV or a dedicated hybrid and wonder what it'd be like with a conventional, high-output V8 under the hood instead of all those batteries and circuit boards? Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villareal did when it came to the Fisker Karma. The result is the Destino from VL Automotive – a vehicle that Lutz says could be the fastest sedan in the world.
We've said it before, we'll said it again: Bob Lutz gives great quotes. From his toilet-themed opinion of global warming to Toyota's deity status, the man knows how to get your attention. His latest? Saying that Tesla Motors is and will remain a fringe brand. Take that, Tesla fanbois.
Here's a twist to the Fisker/Destino/MyCar stories we didn't see coming. WM Greentech (WMGTA), the company behind the struggling-but-not-dead-yet MyCar, has merged with VL Automotive, the company that plans to take bodies from the Fisker Karma and repurpose them with a V8 engine. That car will now be part of GTA's new WM Destino brand.
Bob Lutz is staying very busy. The ex-vice chairman of General Motors, and champion of the Chevrolet Volt, has been named chairman of the board at Via Motors. Lutz will need to squeeze that in between his role as senior advisor at vehicle interior designer Katzkin, being an owner at VL Automotive and perhaps as an advisor to Wanxiang and Fisker Automotive.
Mary Barra officially began her tenure as the CEO of General Motors this week, and no one is happier about that than longtime GM executive and auto industry titan Bob Lutz. "Mary is the right person at the right time," said Lutz, who was attending the Detroit Auto Show and touting one of his recent ventures, VIA Motors.
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?
Last year around this time, we were prepping to see the first iteration of the VL Destino; a Fisker Karma with a Corvette ZR1 heart transplant. Now, with the 2014 Detroit Auto Show looming just over the horizon, there are fresh hints that the Destino is due for a sequel.
Bob Lutz knows a thing or two about the Chevy Volt. He was, after all, GM's vice chairman in charge of product development during the Volt's gestation process, widely credited with ushering it into production. But now he says it should have been a truck, not a sedan.
Every car guy's favorite executive, Bob Lutz has had a long history in top positions at major automakers. Following service as a Marine Corps pilot and a few years as the top sales and marketing exec at BMW, Lutz went on to hold high positions at Ford, Chrysler and most recently General Motors. But he's been keeping busy since leaving GM over three years ago. He's since gone on to chair EV startup Via Motors, start up VL Automotive with Gilbert Villereal to remake the Fisker Karma, and offers th
In 1939, New York City hosted both the future-gazing New York World's Fair (pictured below) and the founding of what would later become the history-focused Automotive Hall of Fame. The latter's mission, then as now, was to honor and perpetuate the memories of auto industry pioneers.
Via Motors knows a thing or two about standing on the shoulders of others. The plug-in hybrid utility vehicle company's entire business plan is to take big General Motors vehicles and convert them to something with a plug, with the support of Bob Lutz (pictured, with the VTrux, a converted Chevrolet Silverado). Here at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the company isn't on the press release schedule until tomorrow, but the brand new solar tonneau cover is just sitting out on the convention center floor
Well at least it wasn't the governor of San Luis Potosi, Mexico who was crash-testing a Via Motors extended-range plug-in hybrid truck. Because that would've been weird. This week, Via opened its first-ever production assembly line – located in that central Mexican state – and celebrated by having Gov. Fernando Toranzo take one of the company's pick-ups out for a spin. A safe one, we surmise.
How many people think Buick or GMC should have gotten the axe instead of Pontiac? You can't see it, but I'm raising my hand. Autoweek reports that former Vice Chairman of GM, Bob Lutz, has indicated that things didn't have to end up the way they did.
Fisker, which made the $100,000+ Karma plug-in hybrid until it shuttered its plant 15 months ago, is said to finally have a buyer in an investment group led by Richard Li, one of Hong Kong's richest men. That's according to a new Reuters report, which notes that the the deal remains private since the sale hasn't been finalized finalized.
That demonstration Via Motors made with its extended-range plug-in trucks in San Francisco a few months back must've made some impression. At the Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA last week, the company announced it has won a $20-million contract to supply the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with its trucks.
Anyone looking for a little extra reading this week could do worse than check out a 29-page history of the Chevrolet Volt. The story of the extended-range plug-in vehicle comes from a professor at San Francisco's Presidio Graduate School, Dariush Rafinejad. A disclaimer, however, is in order, as the study received "generous support" from Chevy parent General Motors.
Bob Lutz was one of the forces behind bringing the Holden Monaro to the United States, as the ill-fated Pontiac GTO in 2004. And while that car received critical acclaim, it was a sales disappointment. Now, Road & Track is reporting that our suspicions were correct - Pontiac was working on a two-door, G8-based coupe before it was shuttered.
The Automotive Hall of Fame has announced this year's inductees, and both Bob Lutz (above) and Jackie Stewart (right inset) are among the lucky handful of honorees. A total of ten individuals from automotive past and present are being inducted for 2013. Those include Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, the duo who founded Aston Martin some 100 years ago, as well as David E. Cole, the founder of the Center for Automotive Research. Cole also served as the director of the Office for the Study of Auto
Bob Lutz, the well-known executive with a range of automakers including both General Motors and Chrysler, says he supports Chrysler for not caving under federal pressure to issue a recall on 2.7 million Jeep vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is arguing that the plastic fuel tanks positioned behind the axles of certain 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee models and 2002-2007 Liberty models may become punctured in a collision and potentially catch fire, so it has called upon Chrysl
Despite his long history with traditional internal combustion engines and climate change skepticism, Bob Lutz remains a strong voice for the plug-in future of the automobile. If anything, his recent statement are getting stronger. To wit, in an recent interview with CNBC, the Chevy Volt's grandpappy (and the former vice chairman of General Motors) said that not only will the future be electric – "the electric car future is definitely coming" (in five to 10 years) – but he also said p
Struggling to save Fisker Automotive from the of talons of bankruptcy, Henrik Fisker has teamed up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to offer to purchase the company's outstanding U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) advanced vehicles loan for just a fraction of its $171 million balance (the company was originally loaned $192 million, but $21 million was seized last month by the Energy Department).