Bob Lutz talks to the media in front of the Via X-Truck Extended-Range Electric Truck. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
VL-Automotive, half-owned by former General Motors executive Bob Lutz, wants to buy unsold plug-in hybrid Karma cars made by bankrupt Fisker and turn them into conventional supercars.
The idea is that the electric hardware will be ripped out of the originals, and replaced by a 6.2 liter, supercharged V-8 gas engine with 636 hp and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The engines are Corvette V-8s, which means the cars could be maintained at GM dealerships.
The original Karmas were limited to 135 mph, and the new version is much faster, not least because removing the electrical equipment cuts 1,100 lbs from the weight. The new cars will need to have uprated tires and suspension tweaks. About 60 percent of the exterior body will be replaced, including the solar panel.
The new car, called the VL Destino, will cost $200,000. The most expensive Fisker Karma cost from around $116,000.
VL-Automotive said there are about 1,800 Fisker Karmas in existence, and the company hopes to convert between 200 and 300 a year.
Ever the salesman, Bob Lutz told a press conference at the Detroit auto show that nine cars were sold so far today.
Will the conversion be available to Tesla Model S owners?
“Yes,” Lutz said.