Eric Killorin

Sun Jan 19 2014 17:05:07 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Will Bob Lutz's VL Automotive really offer V8 conversions for Tesla Model S?
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?

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.

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.

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