Car news

15 January 2013

This is a V8-powered Fisker Karma

Ex-GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz shoehorns Corvette ZR1 firepower into eco-warrior. YES

Vijay Pattni
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Ah, the quaint, eco-friendly charms of the Fisker Karma. Styled by the man who penned the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and powered by the kind of technology gleaned from roaming spacecraft, it is the future.

That is until former GM bigwig Bob Lutz got his hands on one, ripped out the electric drive and brought this work of beauty kicking and screaming back into the 20th century. By using the patented TopGear Formula Of Awesomeness - as demonstrated by Jeremy's food blender - he fitted a ruddy great 6.2-litre Chevy V8 inside the Karma. Very much yes.

It's called the VL Automotive Destino, and is the work of Mr Lutz and ‘industrialist' Gilbert Villereal, whose vision it was to "provide true motoring enthusiasts with an exquisite work of automotive art that performs at a world class level."

And perform, it most certainly does. The base model gets a 450bhp LT-1 V8 with 610Nm of torque, but you don't want that. You want the optional supercharged 6.2-litre LS9 V8 with 638bhp and 819Nm of torque. There are no performance figures available, but in the Corvette ZR1, that engine is capable of doing 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 330kph.

There's the option of a four-speed automatic gearbox, or six-speed manual, and it comes with 22in wheels, 370mm Brembo discs with six-piston calipers (365mm/four-piston at the back), an infotainment system with a 10.2in touchscreen, six-way power seats, and lots of other gadgetry.

But you won't care about any of that. Not with one of the great V8s nestled underneath the modified Fisker Karma bonnet. "The result is truly an American designed, engineered and manufactured four-door performance car that rivals such models as the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide," Mr Lutz said.

Destinos will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis. They're currently testing prototypes, and aim to get the cars ready for the second half of 2013. Want one? (Clue: Yes).

Tags: fisker, karma, karma v8, chevrolet, detroit 13

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