Henrik Fisker Is Suing Aston Martin for $100 Million

Detroit debut for Force 1 supercar in deep limbo.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last month, renowned car designer Henrik Fisker showed off a svelte illustration of the Henrik Fisker Design The Force 1, which he pledged would be built in Michigan and pack one of the world's most powerful naturally aspirated engines. "The Force 1" was expected to unveil at next week’s Detroit Auto Show. However, Fisker has just sued Aston Martin for $100 million, claiming that his former employer is threatening him to cancel the Detroit appearance.

According to the lawsuit, Aston Martin attorney David Kelly sent a letter to Henrik Fisker on Dec. 23 and demanded that the former Aston Martin designer cancel the Detroit Auto Show unveiling and change the Henrik Fisker Design The Force 1 design completely to "avoid conflict with Aston Martin's rights," which the British company would "not hesitate to protect." More specifically, Kelly claims the Force 1 design sketch features a striking similarity to the James Bond Spectre movie car, the Aston Martin DB10.

“Aston Martin is trying to intimidate me to prop up their own flailing company and to mask their financial and product deficiencies,” Fisker said in a statement on Jan. 4 accompanying the suit. “I refuse to be intimidated, and that is the reason for today’s filing.”

Furthermore, Fisker's lawsuit claims that Aston Martin is subjecting him to "public humiliation, embarrassment in the industry and significant financial losses.”

Henrik Fisker

This friendly line of banter between David Kelly and Fisker's lawyer, Jonathan Michaels, go back and forth for a while. Michaels claims the Force 1 features "vastly different" proportions from the Aston DB10. While Kelly admits that Aston Martin did “not know what the final version” of the Force 1 would look like, he does claim that "Henrik, coming in, causes a problem."

To be fair, the greenhouse of the Force 1 looks nearly identical to that of the DB10, and a long hood, wide rear wheel arches and a short rear deck are all classic characteristics of an Aston GT. As far as we can tell, the Force 1's only real distinctions include the triangular headlights and the design of the hood, which features a pair of NACA ducts towards the nose and two vents just aft. Other key details like the grille, character line, wheels and rear fascia are not depicted in Fisker's sketch.

Previously, Aston Martin sued Henrik Fisker over the Fisker Thunderbolt, a coach-built supercar based on the Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish. The suit was dismissed in April 2015 after Fisker agreed to drop the project.

The latest Fisker vs. Aston kerfuffle is essentially a sequel to the Thunderbolt drama, but it will be interesting to see how the events go down this time, especially since this time Henrik Fisker is prepared to fight to keep the Force, er, flowing toward Detroit.