We had to do a double take when we saw Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villereal's new VL Automotive Destino sports car at this year's Detroit Auto Show - the duo took a svelte, green Fisker Karma and swapped the electric motor for a gas-chugging Corvette engine! Predictably, the car's supercharged 638 horsepower ZR1 engine pushes its carbon footprint through the roof - its gas mileage is a pitiful 15 mpg city / 24 mpg highway.
We wondered what would make an automotive manufacturer take a step backwards like this, but it seems that Lutz was a fan of the Karma’s aerodynamic design. The Destino is almost a replica of Karma’s design, except for some adjustments to accommodate the hefty V8 motor. In lieu of the electric motor, battery pack and turbocharged range extender, the Destino uses a Chevrolet LS9 engine, is the very same that powers the uber-powered Corvette ZR1.
The conversion comes as a little surprise as Lutz, who is head of Via Motors, has been an advocate of green transportation, introducing the Chevy Volt to the market. But Lutz’s Destino isn’t planned to rival with Fisker Karma customers, but instead plans to rival the Porche Panamera and Aston-Martin-Lagonda Rapide.
With the extraneous costs of having to fuel up at a regular gas station, the Destino also outranks the price of the Karma- by a lot. While the electric Karma sports sedan will set you back around $102,000, the Destino weighs in at an estimate $180,000.