Thunderbolts are (not) go! Aston Martin is not pleased with Fisker’s Vanquish ‘Interpretation’

Galpin Thunderbolt
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.

Galpin Thunderbolt

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.


Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.