A one-off car based on the current generation Aston Martin Vanquish shows that Henrik Fisker, the company's former head of design, has still got it.
It may have multi-million dollar classic car auctions and meet and greats with racing legends, but there's a very good chance that for many visitors to this weekend's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, the highlight was the sight of a customized Aston Martin.
However, it wasn't just any old Aston -- it was the company's current flagship Vanquish GT -- and the customizer was Henrik Fisker, who used to be Aston Martin's design director. His one-off coach-built creation, the Thunderbolt is aptly named.
The exterior, which favors angles over curves, is almost entirely carbon fiber -- except the curved roof, which is tinted glass. The front and rear headlamps are also bespoke, as is the rear wraparound windshield. Look hard enough and the Vanquish is still there, but so too are all of Fisker's famous design approaches. "I wanted to create an elegant beautiful GT sports coupe, with pure emotional sculpture, that would stay timeless," said Fisker.
The front grille is much larger and more pronounced, as is the brightwork and the car does look elegant yet slightly menacing, sitting some 15mm lower to the ground than a normal Vanquish and on 21-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the leather trim is courtesy of premium Italian furniture makers, Natuzzi; there's a special skeleton Chronograph clock in the center console built by Swiss watch maker Maurice Lacroix, and it is the first car in the world to feature a curved, free-standing touchscreen.
The 11.6-inch display is a prototype designed to be viewable without glare at any angle, developed by Panasonic in collaboration with Fisker and, if this car were to go into very limited, hand-built production (which now looks like a certainty after the response on the weekend) the screen would be omitted.
Fisker is responsible for some of the most elegantly designed cars ever to grace a public highway. His portfolio includes the BMW Z8, and, while he was at Aston Martin as its design director, the DB9 and the Vantage, the most aesthetically pleasing automobiles to come from the British carmaker since the iconic DB5 back in 1963.
After Aston, Fisker set up his own company -- Fisker Automotive -- and launched his own hybrid super GT, the Karam. While good looking, things didn't go to plan and he was out of the limelight for two years. However, in November 2014 he revealed that he'd teamed up with Gaplin automotive, America's biggest Ford dealer, and created a customized Mustang, the Rocket.
The Rocket is now scheduled for a very limited production run through Gaplin and its partners and they too would be overseeing the conversion of the Thunderbolt prototype into a road-going reality.