Destino Convertible

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.

VL Automotive – co-founded by Gilbert Villarreal and Bob Lutz – has revealed a few sketches of a convertible version of the Destino, this time wearing a high-zoot cabin courtesy of the auto-leather specialists at Katzkin. The interiors company was charged with crafting the custom cockpit for the original VL Destino, as well, and from what we can see in these concept drawings, the tailoring here shows real, hidebound promise.

Quick studies will note that the vehicle in the images above only has two doors, while the standard Karma was only ever built with four. It's possible this is a ground-up concept, but it seems every bit as likely that the showcar's execution has been informed by the never-was Karma S folding hardtop convertible. Either way, just as striking is the removal of the former Fisker's roof. The twin cowls at the rear of the passenger compartment seem to meet up beautifully with a chrome accent piece, but of course, details like those will be won or lost in the final execution. We can't wait to see it.

Any other significant changes to the VL Destino concept figure to be unleashed in Detroit, as the press release below focuses mainly on the interior work.
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AUTOMOTIVE LEATHER LEADER KATZKIN PARTNERS WITH VL AUTOMOTIVE TO CREATE EXCLUSIVE LUXURY PERFORMANCE CAR EXPERIENCE

Katzkin Senior Advisor Bob Lutz Debuts All-New Concept Destino Featuring a Custom Katzkin Interior at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

MONTEBELLO, Calif., January 10, 2014 / PRNewswire / - Katzkin, the global leader in automotive interior transformation, continues its design mantra and enters into the ultra-premium sports car arena by partnering with VL Automotive, co-founded by Gilbert Villarreal and Bob Lutz. VL's newest concept Destino luxury performance vehicle will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit at Cobo Center, January 13-26, 2014.

Based on an award-winning design by Henrik Fisker, restyled by Bob Lutz, and powered by the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 powertrain, the Destino sedan was first shown at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. VL Automotive has teamed with Katzkin, a brand that has designed, manufactured and supplied custom leather interiors for more than 30 years, to design bespoke interiors for both the sedan and the new Destino concept.

"A beautifully designed car like the Destino deserves an exceptional interior," said Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman and currently a senior advisor to Katzkin. "By providing a fully customized Katzkin interior, we bring a custom-tailored design to the vehicle and its owner."

According to Brooks Mayberry, Katzkin's CEO, bringing the company's expertise into a luxury market presents a new and exciting opportunity. "We've always been successful in working with boutique, small niche brands and vehicles," said Mayberry. "VL allows us to align our leading design capabilities with exceptional vehicles and we look forward to a long and growing future relationship."

With the 2010 addition of Chief Designer Dave O'Connell, Katzkin has embraced design as both a core value and a supporting pillar to the company's world-class marketing strengths. O'Connell's background includes a near two-decade role as Head Designer for Mitsubishi Motors, as well as his long-term involvement with Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., where O'Connell is an alumnus and has been an instructor since 2001. "Our primary differentiation from any competitor is our ability to provide personalization that expresses individuality for both the consumer and the vehicle," said O'Connell.

While Katzkin's relationship with VL Automotive began through discussions following Lutz's advisory role to the organization, it has deepened through the connection O'Connell created with VL President and CEO Gilbert Villarreal, when O'Connell's designs were brought to fruition in the Destino show car. "Having been impressed by the expressive quality of Katzkin's leather designs for decades, there was no question in my mind that this partnership would be a winning proposition," said Villarreal. "Our goal quite simply is to maintain and exceed the very high quality and exceptional design standards that both Katzkin and VL Automotive will provide."

About Katzkin Leather, Inc.
Founded in 1983, Katzkin Leather, Inc., of Montebello, California is the leading manufacturer of custom leather interiors. With a nationwide installer base featuring over 2,500 restyling locations, Katzkin has created nearly two million exciting vehicle interiors in the past 30 years. Katzkin maintains more than 3,000 interior patterns, 135 colors and materials, and more custom options than any other interior manufacturer. For more information, visit Katzkin online at www.katzkin.com.

About VL Automotive
American-based VL Automotive was founded in 2012 by Gilbert Villarreal and Bob Lutz as a boutique design and manufacturing company for luxury performance vehicles. The Destino is manufactured in Auburn Hills. For more information, please visit www.vl-automotive.com.