VL Automotive is closely tied up with Fisker. The company's first product, the Destino, is a converted Karma and the Destino Red Concept, just unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, is the same hardtop Karma convertible that Fisker showed in 2009. So, what a surprise it was to see that Bob Lutz, who owns half of VL Automotive, is ready to convert a brand new electric vehicle: the Tesla Model S. A gas-powered Tesla? Say what?
That's at least one way to read this short article in The Detroit News. There's not a lot of context and a distinct lack of details, so we're left wondering if maybe Lutz just meant that Model S owners can buy a Destino. You can read the exchange for yourself here.
A gas-powered Tesla? Say what?
What we do know is that Lutz said that VL Automotive has already sold nine Destino conversions. The cars cost $200,000, up from the previous estimate of $180,000, and well above the $116,000 max price tag on the original Karma. For your money, you get a 6.2-liter V8 taken from a Chevrolet Corvette that puts out 636 horsepower and can beat the 135-mile-per-hour top speed that the Karma has. Lutz said that all could add up to sales of around 200 or 300 Destinos each year.