Lutz it or leave it: VL Destino – converted Fisker Karmas – coming in 2014

Loved the looks of the Fisker Karma but held off on buying one for fear of spending $120,000 on an unknown entity? Well, you made the right choice. If that money is still burning a hole in your pocket, you can still have a Karma. This time, though, it’ll have a Chevrolet V8 under the hood.

Called the VL Destino, the re-mangled Karma will cost you $200,000. For that money, though, you get a 450-horsepower direct injected Corvette V8 or – for more money – a 638-hp version that’s been fitted with a supercharger.

Right now, VL only has 25 Karmas to convert into Destinos, which it will begin selling by mid-2014.

The man behind the VL Destino is famed former General Motors chairman Bob Lutz. Speaking with Automotive News, Lutz explained the Destino delivery date: “It’s going to take time. I don’t want a rough car that’s hard to drive with a bad transmission and high noise levels. At close to $200,000, these things are going to have to be silky and buttery to drive. The sound and feel have to be just right.”

The Destino isn’t just a simple engine swap, though. VL bolts up a more conservative grille, and a few other superficial alterations.

Finally, someone seems to be taking their time with the Karma – in one form or another. The original Karma was riddled with issues and none less pressing than leaky battery packs, which discharged Prismatic fluid and then failed.

If you were one of the unfortunate souls who bought one of the 1,900 Karmas originally sold under Fisker, Lutz will happily upgrade your “pristine” Karma into a Destino for $100,000. Have one of the messed-up ones? VL can’t help you.

Once the first run of 25 is finished and sold, VL will turn to a fleet of Karma gliders, which are semi-completed cars without drivetrains.

Yes, VL might also be an unknown start-up but it’s backed by Lutz and powered by a pushrod Chevy V8. Even if Lutz kicks the bucket and VL goes under, you will still be able to get replacement parts for your engine. The same, sadly, cannot be said for the original Karma.

Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Music

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price -- albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much is Spotify Premium going to cost you, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Home Theater

How to buy speakers: A beginner’s guide to home audio

From the difference between bookshelf speakers and monitors to the proper way to audition, our ultimate speaker buying guide has all the information you need to create your own home audio nirvana.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

Tesla no longer offers a Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for Models S, X, and 3 in the company's online configuration tool. CEO Elon Musk said the FSD option caused confusion. Its software validation and regulatory approval could take years.