Remember the Thunderbolt prototype Henrik Fisker brought to this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance? The one that was his “personal interpretation” of the Aston Martin Vanquish? Well, Aston Martin doesn’t feel that it was personal enough, and claim the Thunderbolt is a Thunder-ripoff.
According to Automotive News, Aston states the $400,000 prototype is an unauthorized copy of its Vanquish coupe, featuring only minor variations to its trademarked designs. Designs like the side vents and even the winged logo are too similar for its liking.
The Thunderbolt prototype is based off of Aston’s flagship GT, which is powered by a 5.9-liter V12 engine that churns out 568 horsepower and is sent to the back wheels via an eight-speed touchtronic automatic transmission. The prototype was developed with the help of Galpin Auto Sports, a California-based dealership group and car customizing specialist. The group’s intent to sell the Thunderbolt is where Aston’s issue begins.
Making a one-off is one thing, but selling something that, in Aston’s eyes, is still clearly a Vanquish, is another, and they’ve filed a complaint in Los Angeles federal court.
“Fisker’s bad-faith intent to free-ride off the tremendous goodwill associated with the famous Aston Martin mark, wings logo, side vent mark, and Vanquish mark could not be more transparent,” an Aston Martin representative stated.
Fisker has previously worked for Aston Martin as a design director, most notably contributing to the DB9. His next significant contribution to the automotive world was stating Fisker Automotive, planning to sell sporty plug-in hybrids like the Fisker Karma. Financial problems forced the company to file for bankruptcy, and its assets were bought up by a China-based automotive conglomerate.
If Aston Martin puts the smack down before Thunderbolt production even starts (unless an agreement can be reached), we still doubt that it will be the last we hear of Henrik Fisker and his automotive ventures. He’s proven he’s nothing if not tenacious.