Can the internal combustion engine save the electric car?
In the case of the Fisker Karma, it just might.
VL Automotive says its plans to convert the sexy plug-in hybrid sedan to V8 power is on track, despite Fisker’s recent woes. The company hasn’t built any new cars since last summer, due to the bankruptcy of its battery supplier and recently furloughed 75 percent of its workforce as it seeks partners to keep it afloat.
VL Automotive co-founder and former Vice Chairman of General Motors, Bob Lutz, tells Wards Auto that demand for his startup company’s concept remains high and production is still scheduled for late this year.
Since it was first unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto show, VL Automotive has modified the design to use the 556 hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Cadillac CTS-V rather than the 628 hp motor from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 that was in the show car. Lutz says interested parties wanted an automatic transmission, and one wasn’t available for the more powerful engine.
Lutz says VL Automotive already has 20 Karma platforms, which are built for Fisker by Finland’s Valmet Automotive, and has been contacted by current Karma owners who would like to have their existing vehicles converted to V8 power. The price for a complete Destino is $185,000, and conversions will likely cost between $85,000 and $90,000.