|What is it? A Fisker Karma with the plug-in hybrid system yanked out in favor of a frugal Corvette V-8. In a piquant irony that auto shows live for, the Destino is brought to you by Bob Lutz, the ultimate Car Guy and retired GM vice chairman who championed the plug-in Chevy Volt.
Is it real? Incredibly, apparently so.
What they said: Mr. Lutz, who partnered with the industrialist Gilbert Villereal to produce the Destino in suburban Detroit, said he’d heard from many people who wanted the roughly $100,000 Fisker, but not its hybrid system. “It’s a beautifully designed car,” he said, “but perhaps 10 percent of their possible customers want an electric with a 4-cylinder engine.”
What they didn’t say: Mr. Lutz’ late-career support of the Volt defied his image as the cigar-chomping godfather of gasoline spendthrifts like the Dodge Viper. To some greens, this Destino will smack of betrayal; more likely, it simply confirms Mr. Lutz in all his maddening, endearing, contradictory glory.
What makes it tick: A choice of two ‘Vette engines, the all-new 6.2-liter LT1 with 450 horsepower, or the fearsome 638-horse supercharged LS9 from the ZR-1. We can smell those 22-inch tires burning already.
How much, how soon: A Fisker spokesman said that VL Automotive had bought 20 Karma chassis and bodies, minus their pricey battery and plug-in powertrain. VL plans to build the Destino in suburban Detroit this year. Price was not announced.
How’s it look? Like a Karma, but with a strangely generic grille that replaces the Fisker’s Joker grin. More importantly, what does Fisker think? Russell Datz, a company spokesman, said, “It speaks to the appeal of the Karma that coachbuilders are wanting to take our cars and modify and customize them.” Told that the Destino would be much faster, Mr. Datz replied: “That’s true, but it’ll be much, much less environmentally friendly.”