Report: VL Destino Still Planning Karma-Based Sports Car

Lutz Unconcerned By Fisker Troubles.

Even though Fisker Automotive is facing serious financial struggles, a startup founded by ex-General Motors executive Bob Lutz still plans to use the Fisker Karma as the basis for a sports car. Wards Auto reports that VL Destino managed to secure 20 “gliders,” or cars without a powertrain, before Fisker hit financial troubles earlier this spring.

VL Productions introduced the VL Destino at the Detroit auto show in January. The car uses the slinky body and chassis from the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, but with an old-school powertrain. The Destino was initially planned to use the 638-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V-8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. However, Wards reports VL now plans to use the 556-hp supercharged LSA V-8 from the Cadillac CTS-V, backed by a six-speed automatic transmission sourced from GM.

VL reportedly has 100 orders for the car, which will cost about $185,000. It’s scheduled to go on sale by the end of this year. The company also claims it has received inquiries from Karma owners interested in converting their cars to V-8 power in case Fisker goes under; that would reportedly cost about $90,000.

Lutz says that Fisker’s looming crisis won’t prevent VL from building its Karma-based car. “If Fisker disappears, it won’t affect us,” he told Wards. The company has at least 20 “gliders” in which it can install V-8 engines.

Fisker fired 75 percent of its employees in April to help cope with mounting debts. Sales of the Fisker Karma haven’t met plans, and recalls further impacted the company’s bottom line. Fisker subsequently failed to make a $10 million loan repayment to the U.S. Department of Energy, and its executives were hauled before a House Oversight committee. The startup received $192 million of a $592 million loan from the government, but didn’t meet all the benchmarks required of it — the Karma launched later than was scheduled, for instance.

Source: Wards Auto