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Bob Lutz Plans to Convert the Fisker Karma into a V8 Gas Guzzler

Bob Lutz has been involved at the top level of the motor industry for decades. Originally a fighter pilot, Lutz can be credited with coining the famous tagline that describes BMW as the “ultimate driving machine.” He was also at the heart of bringing Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1980s before moving on to become Vice Chairman, then later Chairman and President, at General Motors.

He is also a strong denier of climate change, calling it “a crock of sh*t,” in front of a roomful of journalists at the Cacharel restaurant.

So it might surprise you to find out that Lutz is leading an effort to buy out Fisker Automotive, and save the beautiful Fisker Karma from oblivion.

Related Article: Tesla Motors Pay Back their Entire DoE Loan Nine Years Early

Well don’t be too surprised, he is not doing it to save the electric vehicle, merely its shell. In fact he means to violate the soul of Karma by ripping out its clean, environmentally friendly electric drive chain, and stuff a dirty, polluting V8 gas guzzler in its place.

In a Forbes article Lutz admitted that he wants “Fisker to live and succeed, if only to ensure a continuing supply of Karma bodies for my and my parter’s VL Destino, a de-electrified Karma with a Corvette drive train.”

VL Automotive, Lutz’s company that is responsible for converting the Karma into a V8 muscle car, is backed by China’s Wanxiang Group in its efforts to buy out the DoE’s interest in Fisker.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Observer on August 06 2013 said:
    "dirty, polluting V8 gas guzzler..."

    Compared to plug in electric operation powered by solar panels on one's roof, possibly. Compared to reality, that's three lies in one sentence.

    A new US spec auto engine of almost any type is remarkably clean. If well maintained, the exhaust is cleaner than the air in some places (LA for example).

    Hippie style maintenance, on the other hand, yields a gross polluter. My old 4 cyl car was such a polluter, as the "eco-minded" previous owner ran it into the ground by conserving oil changes and other maintenance, leading to oil burning along with the fuel. That increased gunk out the tailpipe by a factor of several hundred.

    More recently, I had a new, latest, greatest, direct injected turbo 4 cyl wondermotor powered sedan. Officially, it was classed as ULEV. In real use, it loaded up the exhaust with soot, as it had dump extra fuel into the engine to prevent the overstressed powerplant from self-destructing while keeping up with traffic. If there was soot coating the tailpipe it must also have been pumping it into the air.

    Engines large enough that they run under a vacuum can be cleaner in practice than small ones laboring to keep ahead of the charging tow truck, mommybus or commuter behind it. In the Fisker, the V8 will be operating at a very light load and thus at a lean, clean burning AFR.

    The factory original Fisker gets around 20 mpg in traffic if the owner doesn't bother or can't plug it in. It's an amazing vehicle but not an especially efficient one. Considering the average owner doesn't know where their oil cap is, none but the dedicated EV fan will never use the plug-in on their Fisker.

    With a weight savings of over a half ton, the V8 powered Fisker using the LS7 should get unplugged mpg not that much different than the original hybrid. At a steady 60 mph it could probably get 30 mpg. The supercharged LSA and LS9 engines are not optimized for mpg and would get a several mpg less, but still much better than comparable exotics, such as a Bentley GT. Now factor in the energy required to manufacture the electric drive system and batteries, average over 75,000 miles (more than an exotic will ever be driven) and the Corvette engine may actually come out ahead.

    I've seen a Karma parked on the street. It's stunning, obviously not an ordinary car. The street was too filthy a place for it (this was in New York City), it shouldda been parked in a sculpture garden or at a beach. It's not an upgrade from a Chevette, minivan or whatever; it's kinetic art.

    Let us hope it will continue as a US made alternative to a Lamborghini, Bentley or other showpiece.
  • Denis on May 27 2013 said:
    This article is highly misleading. The Karma isn't an electric car. It has an electric drive but is assisted by a gasoline engine very similar to the Volt which is superbly engineered compared to the Karma.

    The engine used in Lutz's Destino is directly lifted from the Corvette ZR-1 which is one of the most efficient V8 powerplants on the market today. The Destino is large and heavy with 638 hp, so don't expect it to achieve the fuel consumption numbers of a Prius.

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