VLF Automotive unveils Force 1 supercar amid legal battle with Aston Martin
New American carmaker VLF Automotive has unveiled its Force 1 supercar in Detroit, a week after its designer filed a $100 million lawsuit against luxury British auto brand Aston Martin.
The Force 1 features a lightweight carbon-fibre body with a protruding front spoiler and exaggerated rear diffuser. Both elements help the vehicle to generate downforce, which cars experience at speed.
A small spoiler positioned at the top of the rear windscreen also houses an in-car Wi-Fi device and third brake light.
VLF designer Henrick Fisker – a former Aston Martin design chief – filed a lawsuit against the British manufacturer after claiming it was trying to stop him from unveiling the vehicle at this month's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
The dispute started late last year, after the Danish designer released a sketch of the Force 1 as seen from above. The drawing highlighted the Force 1's extended bonnet, long tail and pushed-out wheels.
Aston Martin's legal team were quick to send a letter to Fisker suggesting his design was "strikingly similar" to a number of the British company's vehicles.
Fisker – who also designed an initial version of Tesla's Model S – responded by describing the claims as "ridiculous" before filing for damages himself.
In a statement released to coincide with the Force 1's release, Fisker explained that classic American sports cars informed the vehicle's proportions, which create a forward-leaning visual effect.
"The sculptural hood has unique, large, negative surfaces and six highly needed air intakes and outlets for the 8.4 L V10 engine," he said. "The windscreen wraps around into the side glass, followed by an elegant, yet aggressive side line sweeping up towards the rear deck."
Ultra-thin lights are positioned above the "aggressive-looking" grille and laser-blade tail lamps are incorporated at the back, which Fisker claims to be the "thinnest in the world".
The side windows are shaped like a spear, creating a "completely new and never-seen-before" detail, according to the Danish designer.
Inside, the furnishings are finished in suede and hand-stitched leather. A champagne holder is also incorporated between the driver and passenger.
VLF Automotive was founded by Fisker with former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz, and entrepreneur and manufacturer Gilbert Villarreal.
The company hopes to challenge rival supercar manufacturers such as Ferrari and Aston Martin with its Force 1, which is capable of reaching speeds of 218 miles per hour (350 kilometres per hour).
Fisker's ongoing $100 million (£69 million) legal wrangling is the latest in a widely publicised battle between the Danish designer and his former employer.
In March last year Fisker revealed his Thunderbolt design study, which was based on Aston Martin's Vanquish. The British carmaker described it as an unauthorised copy and filed a lawsuit, which was dropped after Fisker confirmed it would not be produced.
VLF Automotive has also unveiled the Destino – a luxury saloon car – at NAIAS, which runs from 11 to 24 January 2016.
The vehicle is a restyled and re-engineered version of the ill-fated hybrid Fisker Karma, which was produced by the financially doomed Fisker Automotive car company in 2012.