VLF Destino (Fisker Karma with V-8, sans electric parts) starts deliveries


VLF Destino

VLF Destino

The Fisker Karma extended-range electric luxury sedan has been out of production since 2012, but two separate companies are trying to revive it.

The remains of the bankrupt Fisker Automotive have been reorganized into Karma Automotive, which seeks to restart production of the sedan as the Karma Revero, with a plug-in hybrid powertrain similar to the original.

At the same time, VLF has replaced the electrified powertrain with a V-8 engine in a virtually identical body, to create the Destino high-performance luxury sedan.

DON'T MISS: Fisker Karma With V-8 Emerges As VLF Destino, Including Henrik Himself

While the Destino was first shown at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, deliveries are only now starting.

Among the first people to take delivery of a Destino is former General Motors product czar Bob Lutz, according to The Detroit News.

Lutz is one of VLF's main backers, the "L" in VLF. He sits on its executive board with industrialist Gilbert Villarreal (the "V"), along with a newer addition that turned what had been "VL" into "VLF."

VLF Destino

VLF Destino

That would be Henrik Fisker, the Karma's designer, and cofounder of Fisker Automotive. Fisker left his namesake company in March 2013, shortly before it declared bankruptcy.

VLF claims a "wealthy music celebrity" is among other early customers for the Destino.

The company only plans to build a handful of cars per year at its facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Each will be priced at $229,000.

ALSO SEE: Destino--The Corvette-Powered Fisker Karma: Detroit Auto Show (Jan 2013)

That's about twice as much as the Karma sold for during its brief production run in 2012.

For that price, buyers get a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 from the now-discontinued Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.

The V-8 produces 638 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, and is available with an automatic transmission only.

VLF Destino

VLF Destino

It will take the Destino from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and offer a top speed of 200 mph, VLF claims.

Part of that performance comes from removing almost 1,000 pounds of weight, representing the lithium-ion battery pack and twin rear electric motors of the original Fisker Karma.

VLF also plans to build the Force One, a Dodge Viper-based sports car that Henrik Fisker had originally designed independently of the company.

MORE: Fisker Karma to be Karma Revero, orders to open later this year

Meanwhile, Karma Automotive is still working to revive the original, plug-in version of the Karma under the auspices of Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang.

The car has been renamed Karma Revero, and is expected to begin production at a new facility in Southern California later this year.

Karma has said it will show the updated car in July or August, with some changes meant to address issues with the previous car and modernize what is in fact a fairly old design by industry standards.

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