Thank God for Bob Lutz. The man knows how to makes a splash. The car above is the VL Automotive Destino, and it's the former GM chairman's new project in conjunction with industrialist Gilbert Villereal. Destino makes its debut this week at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, and it looks familiar to you because it's a Fisker Karma with one giant, important difference: the extended-range EV powertrain has been yanked.
In its place, VL will let customers swap in the fire-breathing, 638-horsepower LS9 V8 from the Corvette ZR1. According to , owners will be able to specify either a four-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.
Visually, the Destino's only significant differences from the Karma are its cleaner front fascia, which shaves the Fisker's Pringles-guy mustache, and the rear bumper, which now has a quad-tipped exhaust in place of the donor car's artificial sound generators. Goodbye flying saucer noise, hello V8 rumble.
VL says that prototypes are already in testing and that sales will kick off the second half of 2013, pending certification. The cars will be built in Auburn Hills, MI.
What's most interesting about all this is how it brings Henrik Fisker full circle, in a sense. Many of you will remember that as part of his coachbuilding operation, Fisker produced the . Now his original creation, the Karma, becomes the basis for a coachbuilt special itself.
We'll check back in after we check out the Destino in persion on the show floor.