According to the documents, which were obtained by Reuters, Wanxiang plans to team up with America’s VL Automotive, a startup formed by Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal that plans to sell versions of Fisker’s Karma sedan powered by Corvette V-8 engines instead of extended-range electric drive systems. Lutz was previously reported to be involved with Wanxiang’s bid for Fisker’s assets.
Wanxiang sees VL as being the “soul of Fisker” and wants to build Karma rolling chassis for VL at the car’s plant in Finland until current inventories are finished. VL will then handle the engine installation and detailing at its operations in the U.S. The V-8-powered Karmas, to be called Destinos, have previously been tipped to cost close to $200,000, roughly double the price of the original Karma.
Wanxiang doesn’t plan to abandon Fisker’s green car roots, however. The company sees the battery system of A123 Systems that was used in the Karma, which it also acquired following a bankruptcy of A123 Systems, as the “heart of Fisker”. In the court documents it said it plans to continue building electric Karmas alongside the V-8-powered Destinos, and that it would continue to develop next-generation cars powered by extended-range electric drive systems.
While no mention was made of future plans for Fisker’s proposed Atlantic small electric sedan, Wanxiang said it wants to build cars in a Delaware plant Fisker had originally bought from General Motors for production of the Atlantic.
The company, however, is taking a cautious path and only expects to make 1,000 combined sales of Karmas and Destinos in the first 18 months of production. Fisker sold 1,800 Karmas before it suspended production in 2012, falling far short of initial projections that it would sell 11,000 sedans by early 2012.
For more on this topic, check out the report at Green Car Reports.