Karma-based Destino still coming despite Fisker troubles

Article by Christian A., on May 8, 2013

Fisker, the struggling plug-in hybrid automaker, may not have entered any productive deals with investors but this doesn’t mean that a Destino sedan has been taken off the table. Fisker has had to lay off about 75% of its employees. It has also hired lawyers to guide it in the event that it will go through bankruptcy proceedings.

VL Automotive, which is led by Bob Lutz, will continue with its plans to produce the Destino sedan, which is basically a Karma with a powerful General Motors V8 instead of the standard hybrid powertrain. Lutz told Wards Auto that VL Automotive has acquired 20 Karma “gliders” – units that don’t have batteries or hybrid parts. Fisker is also seeking to buy complete Karma sedans from dealers who want to get rid of their inventories before Fisker becomes bankrupt.

So far, VL Automotive has received 100 Destino orders. Many of these customers are from the Middle East. There have also been hundreds of Karma owners who have gotten in touch with VL Automotive and want to get their sedans converted to traditional V8 muscle.

Lutz said that it’s likely this conversion will be priced at $85,000 to $90,000. Lutz also said that they will use an engine that’s a bit different than what was initially planned. The Destino was supposed to be powered by a 638-horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8 taken from the Corvette ZR1 but VL Automotive was unable to find a suitable automatic transmission to pair with the engine.

That’s why it will now use Cadillac CTS-V’s 556-horsepower version of the 6.2L, which can be effortlessly mated to a GM-sourced six-speed auto. Lutz explained that the company realizes that many customers want to use automatics in these cars and there wasn’t a fitting six-speed for the ZR1 (Corvette) engine.

VL Automotive will also offer a 450-horsepower LT1 V8. It’s possible that even when Fisker ceases to exist, Destino production may continue via arrangements by VL Automotive for Fisker’s suppliers to continue building the Karma chassis. Notably, Fisker didn’t build the Karma. Rather, it is the product of Valmet Automotive, a vehicle manufacturer based in Finland.

California automaker Fisker Automotive has come out with the first ever Electric Vehicle with extended range which it has named the Fisker Karma. In the Karma, Fisker is able to show to the world that it is possible for a car to be high performing, fuel efficient, and environmentally friendly.

That the car was named Karma, a Hindi word which means rewarding good deeds, was not without careful thought and design. The rewards for the owners of the Fisker Karma come in bunches. The elegance of the Karma is visible in the four-door, four-seat luxury vehicle’s interior and exterior. It is built with strength in accelerations, capable of going from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. This is possible because of its military stealth vehicle-inspired EVer powertrain, a Fisker proprietary exclusive. The Karma is also a visual treat with its polished body and external parts that spell exquisiteness in design.

Karma also comes in good environmental deeds for the driver of the Fisker Karma. Despite its strength and powerful acceleration, the Fisker Karma on average annually registers more than 100 miles per gallon, and this obviously translates not just to less fuel consumption but consequently less burning of fuel and less impact on the environment.

Good karma is invited by Fisker which deserves to be credited for a car that registers zero emissions on demand. On an annual basis, the Fisker Karma registers CO2 emissions in real-world driving of only a mere 83 g/km. Truly, the Fisker Karma is a car that lives up to its name. For a relative newcomer in the automotive industry, Fisker surely is showing even the most accomplished automotive companies that it is possible for cars to show both comfort and luxury, elegance and style, power and a genuine concern for the environment.

Topics: fisker, fisker karma

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