One of the more exciting and unexpected concepts at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show is a sublime mix of luxury sedan and raw V8 power. The recipe calls for a Fisker Karma shell, slightly altered with the help of new front and rear bumpers, and a comprehensive drivetrain swap which sees the hybrid innards of the Karma tossed on the proverbial garbage pile and replaced with a GM sourced 6.2 litre V8.
The Destino was the result of a collaboration between GM’s retired charismatic chairman Bob Lutz, and industrialist Gilbert Villereal. VL Automotive are already in the process of testing a number of prototypes ahead of the production debut later this year.
The standard cars will be fitted with a 6.2 litre LT-1 direct injection V8 rated at 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. However for those wanting even more performance VL Automotive will kindly drop in a supercharged 6.2 litre LS9 V8 which produces 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a 4-speed auto or a 6-speed manual.
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Fisker Automotive told the world they were working on another vehicle besides the Karma several year ago. But it’s only now that that vehicle has come to fruition. Developed under the name ‘Project Nina‘, the new car is actually called the Fisker Atlantic. And as predicted the car is a sedan with extremely well hidden rear doors giving the car a coupe-like profile. In the styling department, Fisker have given the Atlantic a body which clearly matches the Karma and the Surf. However it doesn’t seem to be quite as attractive as either.
The Fisker Atlantic will come in at a much more affordable price than the $100,000+ Karma – although it’ll still be a long way from being a budget motor. Production is set for 2013, and Fisker will be making use of a former GM facility in Delaware to manufacture the car.
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For those who don’t know, Fisker’s ambitious expansion into new vehicle segments is all shepherded under the single term ‘Project Nina’. Project Nina is a combination of new manufacturing capabilities, facilities and vehicles. The massive project, which has been funded by a $528.7 million dollar conditional loan from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, is due to begin later this year, with full-speed production scheduled for some time in 2014.
As of now, Fisker Automotive have stated that they want to build additional models to sit alongside the Karma, Karma S and the Surf. But they’ve neglected so say exactly what that car, or cars, will be. Back in 2009 Henrik Fisker mentioned that he wanted to build another plug-in hybrid, but one which was a “high-volume vehicle for a lower price”. Since then no further comments have been made on the subject. Now, with the 2012 New York Auto Show rapidly approaching, Fisker have announced that they will be holding a special event ahead of the Auto Show to share with media, retailers and the public a business update and give a glimpse of the future for the company.
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Henrik Fisker, the man behind Fisker Automotive, has designed some stunning pieces of machinery during his lifetime. Probably his best known work is the revamping of Aston Martin and the beauties that are the DB9 and the V8 Vantage. His own line of cars currently stands at two, the Fisker Karma Sedan and the Fisker Karma S convertible. But now, even before either of those hits the market, he’s created a third.
The Fisker Surf is a wagon version of the Karma. It’s got the same nose, doors and taught haunches, but its got a more practical and spacious cabin. The styling is striking, and it probably won’t sit well with everyone (especially ’round the back), but it won’t fail to turn heads and it’ll never be called dull. Personally, I wish all wagons were as emotive as the Surf.
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