British supercar maker Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. has announced that Henrik Fisker’s “Thunderbolt” concept of a $400,000 GT coupe qualifies as an unauthorized copy.
The British automaker is best known for its long running association to the James Bond movies, with the brand’s iconic sports cars featured in the franchise for half a century. Fisker is well known for the failed automaker with the same name that tried to deliver a luxury hybrid supercar and is also a former Aston Martin design director. The controversial figure recently unveiled a prototype car based on an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish at an auto show in Florida this month. The car is already available, albeit only through a special order placed via a Los Angeles-based Aston Martin dealer. With minor styling modifications from Aston Martin’s trademarked design cues, the British automaker hastily took the matter to court and filed a former complaint in the 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,” commented the British carmaker.
Fisker has planned to introduce a series production model that would be void of the Aston Martin features present on the prototype, with the carmaker calling this a classic “bait-and-switch” scenario. Additionally, while Fisker announced the concept was based on the Vanquish model, Aston Martin claims the technical basis was in fact an earlier variant, from the earlier-generation DB9 – the DBS – with the “donor” for the Thunderbolt claimed to be the newer variant to insure proper hype.