What Now For Fisker Karma Owners: Are V-8s Their Likely Fate?

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The 2012 Fisker Karma is one of the most striking vehicles on the road today.

It's also on its way to becoming an orphan.

With just 2,000 or so made, the low, sleek four-door luxury sport sedan and its range-extended electric drivetrain haven't been produced for 10 months.

Some dealers have discounted the $106,000-plus car to sell for as little as $80,000, according to AutoblogGreen early last month.

Fisker Automotive is seemingly near bankruptcy, having laid off most of its employees on April 5 with no bailout deal in sight.

We hear through the grapevine that several Fisker dealers have severed all ties with the company and are now refusing to service cars they sold mere months before.

No dealers are listed anywhere that we could find on the Fisker Automotive website, which still touts the 2012 Karma.

So it looks dire for the owners who paid more than $100,000 for a relatively complicated car with quality problems.

What happens now?

Well, one possibility is to yank out the electric drivetrain and drop in a V-8. In fact, a Chevy V-8 similar to the one used in entry-level Corvette sports cars.

As it turns out, the boutique carmaker VL Automotive--which showed the Destino concept at this year's Detroit Auto Show--is still planning to do small runs of Fisker bodies with good old-fashioned V-8s in them.

It says it has orders for about 100 Destinos, many from the Middle East, each one to retail for roughly $185,000 or so.

2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

Enlarge Photo

VL may buy unsold Karmas from dealers looking to get rid of them, the company said.

And, according to Ward's Auto (via Motor Authority), VL is quite willing to convert existing Fisker Karmas over to V-8 power as well.

The company said it's gotten "hundreds of inquiries" from existing Karma owners. All that's required for the conversion is one Fisker Karma and a check for $85,000 or $90,000.

What do you think: Is the ultimate fate for Fiskers to be converted to raucous combustion engines that match their low, sleek looks?

Or should owners retain the range-extended plug-in electric powertrain and drive as much as possible on electricity?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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