Exec Vette

Bob Lutz develops a new watch and a new supercar.

Out to design a watch that would be an engineer’s dream, complete with a date wheel that can calculate delivery lead times, Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal wound up creating a street-legal supercar capable of reaching 200 mph. “We had no idea we’d offer a car, but here we are,” says Lutz, a former vice chairman at General Motors.

Called the VL Destino, the $180,000 speedster is being assembled in Auburn Hills from modified Fisker Karma sedans. Instead of running on electricity, the sedan is powered by a Corvette ZR1 engine that can hit 0-60 mph in a little more than three seconds. Delivery is expected by the end of the year.

“When you’re talking about a ZR1 engine that produces 638 horsepower, you’re going to beat most every production car off the road,” says Villarreal, an industrialist and, like Lutz, a fighter jet pilot. The pair is also building a small fleet of plug-in hybrid commercial vans.

The watch, complete with Lutz’ signature on the face, is available in several styles. Prices start at $1,995. In addition to calculating delivery times, it can be used to forecast everything from retirement to maternity due dates. The watch is available online, as well as at various jewelry stores including Simply Marcella in Lake Orion.

As for the car, Lutz and Villarreal say they haven’t lost faith in the prospects for electrical drive trains; rather, they’re simply answering customer demand.

“Quite a number of Fisker buyers have said they love the design, if only it had an athletic engine under the hood instead of electric drive,” says Lutz, who recently released his third book, Icons and Idiots. “We obviously took that to heart.” db

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