We don’t hear the name Bob Lutz much anymore these days.
Back in the late 2000s Lutz’s name was slathered across car blogs and news sites as General Motors navigated toward, and then through, bankruptcy. Lutz, who served various executive roles at GM between 2001 and 2010, is known as a hardcore gearhead and is a huge supporter of muscle cars and big engines.
After retiring from GM, Lutz surprised no one by starting another company, VLF Automotive, that he announced would build a supercar from the ashes of the Fisker Karma.
This week, he delivered on that promise.
The Karma, if you recall, was a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan. It had an all-electric range of about 32 miles, but a normal range of only 230 miles with a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery. Base pricing started at just over $100,000. The high price, low range, and a couple of highly publicized car fires contributed to the Karma’s eventual demise.
In 2013 Lutz stepped in, bought some unfinished Karma bodies, and promised to deliver a 638-hp Corvette-powered supercar. Minus the hybrid powertrain, of course.
This week he delivered the very first VLF Destino… to himself.
The Detroit News said,
Billed as one of the world’s fastest four-door sedans, the 200-mph Destino is the gorgeous offspring of the marriage of a Fisker Karma chassis and supercharged Corvette ZL1 V-8 engine. Stripped of its original hybrid powertrain, the low-slung, leather-lined four-door is now stuffed with a 6.2-liter, 638-horsepower V-8 hammer under its long front hood that will rocket the 4,300-pound GT from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds.
I’m sure Mr. Lutz is thrilled with himself for taking a semi-desirable once-hybrid car and turning it into a gas-chugging American supercar. All of that conversion work comes at a price, however. The Destino starts at $229,000, with production limited to a few dozen per year.
But if that’s still not enough car for you, the next vehicle on VLF’s production line might call your name. The $258,500 VLF Force 1 debuted at this year’s Detroit auto show and is the result of a partnership between Lutz and–who else–Henrik Fisker. Based on a Dodge Viper SRT frame and with a new body designed by Fisker, the Force 1 will reach 218 mph, launching from 0 to 60 in just 3 seconds thanks to a 745-hp V10.
As the supercar market continues its evolution toward electrification, cars such as the Destino and Force 1 may be remembered as the last of a dying breed. In fact, the electric Karma is about to experience a rebirth of its own, under the ownership of Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang. The re-named and redesigned Karma Revero is said to be unveiled this summer and begin production in California later this year.
How would you want your supercar: gas or electric?