The 2014 Detroit Auto Show is definitely not an auto show where only major automakers exhibit their creations. Detroit is also where you will have the chance to see cool cars from smaller makers, like this Destino Concept developed by VL Automotive .
If the name sounds familiar to you, is simply because VL Automotive already displayed a Destino sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. VL Automotive was founded by Gilbert Villarreal and Bob Lutz — if you didn’t notice, the "VL" name comes from the first letter in each of their last names — and the Destino was its first creation.
What’s the difference between the Destino we saw last year and the one from this year? Well, there are quite a few. The new vehicle is a convertible model, with its luxurious interior designed by Katzkin.
Click past the jump to read more about the VL Automotive Destino sedan.
VL Automotive Destino was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, based on the Fisker Karma, but with the electric powertrain replaced with a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 powertrain.
Destino is powered by either a 6.2-liter, supercharged LS9 V-8 engine that produces an impressive 638 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 604 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm or a 6.2-liter LT1 direct-injection V-8 engine with an output of 450 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 450 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Gallery VL Automotive Destino
Katzkin, the global leader in automotive interior transformation, continues its design mantra and enters into the ultra-premium sports car arena by partnering with VL Automotive, co-founded by Gilbert Villarreal and Bob Lutz. VL’s newest concept Destino luxury performance vehicle will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit at Cobo Center, January 13-26, 2014.
Based on an award-winning design by Henrik Fisker, restyled by Bob Lutz, and powered by the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 powertrain, the Destino sedan was first shown at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. VL Automotive has teamed with Katzkin, a brand that has designed, manufactured and supplied custom leather interiors for more than 30 years, to design bespoke interiors for both the sedan and the new Destino concept.
“A beautifully designed car like the Destino deserves an exceptional interior,” said Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman and currently a senior advisor to Katzkin. “By providing a fully customized Katzkin interior, we bring a custom-tailored design to the vehicle and its owner.”
According to Brooks Mayberry, Katzkin’s CEO, bringing the company’s expertise into a luxury market presents a new and exciting opportunity. “We’ve always been successful in working with boutique, small niche brands and vehicles,” said Mayberry. “VL allows us to align our leading design capabilities with exceptional vehicles and we look forward to a long and growing future relationship.”
With the 2010 addition of Chief Designer Dave O’Connell, Katzkin has embraced design as both a core value and a supporting pillar to the company’s world-class marketing strengths. O’Connell’s background includes a near two-decade role as Head Designer for Mitsubishi Motors, as well as his long-term involvement with Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., where O’Connell is an alumnus and has been an instructor since 2001. “Our primary differentiation from any competitor is our ability to provide personalization that expresses individuality for both the consumer and the vehicle,” said O’Connell.
While Katzkin’s relationship with VL Automotive began through discussions following Lutz’s advisory role to the organization, it has deepened through the connection O’Connell created with VL President and CEO Gilbert Villarreal, when O’Connell’s designs were brought to fruition in the Destino show car. “Having been impressed by the expressive quality of Katzkin’s leather designs for decades, there was no question in my mind that this partnership would be a winning proposition,” said Villarreal. “Our goal quite simply is to maintain and exceed the very high quality and exceptional design standards that both Katzkin and VL Automotive will provide.”