Last week the Federal government put the remains of Fisker Automotive on the auction block, seeking to recover some of the $193 million it loaned the green automaker before the company went bankrupt. Rumor has it that a Hong Kong billionaire has picked up what is left of Fisker for a cool $30 million, though the future of Fisker itself remains in doubt.
That has dimmed the spirits of former GM exec Bob Lutz, who Automotive News says plans to replace the Fisker’s hybrid drivetrain with one of two GM-sourced V8 engines for 2014.
Lutz, who has openly said he is a fan of the Fisker’s look, if not its drivetrain, said that his company, VL Automotive, has purchased 25 unsold Fisker Karmas and settled a dispute with an Asian investor over infotainment system programming codes that had so far prevented the conversion of Fiskers into V8-powered Destinos. With the codes in hand, Lutz and company can move forward with plans to convert the Fiskers.
With a more-conservative front fascia and the option of either the 455 horsepower LT1 from the new Corvette Stingray, or the 638 horsepower LS9 from the previous-generation Corvette ZR1, the Destino conversions are going to be costly. In fact, it will about double the price of the Fisker Karma, with each conversion of the $100,000 hybrid costing another $100,000. Lutz says completed cars will go for $200,000 each, making the already-expensive Fisker even more expensive.
But it will also be faster, meaner, and have an easier-to-modify drivetrain that could give second life to a beautiful, if flawed, driving machine.