There’s no denying that Henrik Fisker’s Thunderbolt Concept is a stunning take on the Aston Martin Vanquish, but it’s also not hard to see how similar this design study looked to the actual car it was based upon. Aston Martin saw the similarities, too, and filed a lawsuit against Fisker for trademark infringements, but now it now seems that cooler heads have prevailed in this matter and the issue has been resolved.
Both parties released a joint statement that says Aston Martin has dropped its lawsuit in exchange for Fisker agreeing to not produce the Thunderbolt. When the car debuted, Fisker had said that the car would be sold in limited numbers through Galpin Motors in L.A. Galpin and Fisker teamed up to create the Ford Mustang Rocket at last year’s SEMA Show, but Ford obviously took less offense to that project than Aston Martin did to the Thunderbolt.
The good news is that this didn’t turn into a lengthy or ugly court case. Fisker unveiled the Thunderbolt Concept at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 14, and Aston Martin filed its lawsuit on March 26.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fisker/Aston lawsuit.
A123 has been put through the ringer in recent history, most notably with its massive battery recall, and now it is just about belly up. Things were starting to look up for the battery make when it announced that a $450 million deal had been reached with Wanxiang Group Corp, but that deal recently fell through.
Now the inevitable is upon A123, as news came across the board that A123 had filed for bankruptcy protection, despite having received a $249 million government grant. With this bankruptcy filing also comes the likely liquidation of its assets. It appears as if A123 has already gotten a head start on this liquidation by negotiating to sell off its automotive business to Johnson Controls – well-known for building nearly every lead-acid and gel battery sold.
The deal is not yet done, but it is reportedly for the sum of $125 million and will include the Fisker, GM, and BMW contracts that A123 has already inked. Part of the proposed deal includes Johnson Controls fronting A123 $72.5 million in “debtor possession” funds to keep the bankrupt company running while the sale is being completed. There is no timetable for the completion of the deal, but per the press release, things will continue as usual for A123 during the entire sale process.
All we can hope for is a full turnaround once this technology gets in the hands of Johnson Controls, as the fate of the EV realm rests heavily on the technologies developed by A123. This could possibly be part of the reason that Fisker wasn’t shy about announcing that the upcoming Atlantic was delayed. We’ll also keep an eye on the Chevy Spark EV project to see if that is put on hold until this situation is resolved.
We’ll keep you updated.
Click past the jump to read A123’s press release.
The last time we checked in on Fisker, it had fallen short of its $150 million fundraising goal by about $50 million, but said that was plenty to help fund the development of the upcoming Atlantic sedan. Just recently, Fisker had an investor meeting and it had a little bit of bad news, per reports, as the Atlantic’s pre-production may not start until 2014. The anticipated timeline for the Atlantic was a 2013 startup, so this would place it about two years late to the party.
There are no reports as to why production is being delayed, but it is likely either a delay in getting the former GM plant that it purchased up to date for production or choosing an overseas assembly site. Once production gets rolling, Fisker will be adding over 1,000 jobs – hopefully to the U.S. market – plus it’ll be able to use this opportunity to put some of the Karma issues behind it. One issue that will certainly be resolved is the Karma’s high price, as according to the report, the Atlantic will come in at a relatively affordable $55,000 base price.
Also outlined in the presentation is the fact that Fisker is looking to partner up with other automakers to spread the Atlantic’s platform to other makes. That really comes as no surprise because that was already rumored, but now we have a little confirmation.
We are due to have a sit down with Fisker reps soon and this information will certainly be added onto the list of topics that we will cover.
Fisker has been one of the more exciting rollercoaster rides in the automotive industry, as of late. In 2010, it was developing an extended range hybrid, then known as the Nina, and the Department of Energy was interested enough to provide the struggling company with a $529 million loan. This loan was three fold; part of it was for additional research for the Karma, part was for the Nina’s development, and the final portion was to renovate the old GM plant in Delaware.
Apparently Fisker didn’t meet the DOE’s expectations and they froze the loan in 2011, due to “unmet milestones.” Fisker then insisted that production of the Atlantic (the production name of the Nina) will commence at the Delaware plant, despite laying off 26 employees in early-February.
Well, the layoffs are still coming, as Fisker just let go of an additional 12 employees, including engineers and maintenance technicians, from its Delaware plant, which one laid off engineer called “absolutely empty.”
This is really making it look as if the Atlantic will not be produced in the Delaware plant. For that matter, it is starting to look like the Fisker brand as a whole may be in some significant trouble. The true question here is will the DOE see that Fisker’s recent progress is good enough to thaw out those loan funds and allow the company to continue its renovation of the Delaware plant and research on the Atlantic project? Or will the DOE watch Fisker squirm as it gasps for air wherever it can?
Chances are releasing the loan funds will never happen and it is looking like Fisker may fizzle out and end up amongst the heap of failed car companies, alongside Packard, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. Only time will tell, but seeing the Atlantic – an affordable hybrid sports sedan – hit the market would be a great thing for the environment and the entire hybrid realm.
We’ve heard, but not seen, a lot about Fisker’s newest model, the Nina. At some point, it only seemed right for Fisker to finally give us a good look at what they’re working on, right? Well, they finally did, except that there’s not a whole lot to work with as far as what they have shown.
The image is a teaser sketch of the Fisker Nina, a plug-in hybrid coupe that appears to share the same design language of the Karma with the former looking to be proportioned a little bigger than the latter.
Not much was mentioned about the Nina, except that it’s set to make its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any new developments surrounding the Fisker Nina. If for nothing else, we’ll at least have a good idea on what Fisker is planning for their post-Karma offering.
After trudging along with the production of the Karma and introducing the Karma S Convertible Concept, Fisker has moved right along to the Frankfurt Motor Show with a new concept: the Surf. The Surf concept is an electric shooting brake model with extended range (EVer) capability and represents Fisker’s vision of a crossover between a sport car and a station wagon. It shows how Fisker is expanding its Karma platform rapidly with additional models that again create a new market niche. A production version will follow in 2013.
The company has described the concept as follows: "The Fisker Surf delivers a bold new twist and is sure to ‘wow’ global audiences with its combination of Uncompromised Responsible Luxury and head turning design."
We expect the Surf Concept will have something similar to the aluminum spaceframe architecture and Q-Drive powertrain as used in the Karma. Of course, we don’t anticipate that this concept to have two electric motors with an output of about 408 HP like the Karma, but a less powerful setup powered by the same lithium-ion battery pack will more than likely be available. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 5.9 seconds and top speed will go up to 125 mph. The concept can travel up to 50 miles on electricity only and a turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol engine will act as a generator and will extend the range an additional 250 miles.
Fisker took years to have the Karma set and ready for production and now the company is rolling out new models at the Frankfurt Motor Show?
Sounds a little ambitious in our book, but the company is reportedly looking at introducing a host of new models in the coming years. One of the first models expected to be revealed is a crossover concept that’s scheduled to be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
We like the aggressive direction Fisker is taking after the long-awaited release of the Karma sports car, but the plethora of new models on tap in the coming years makes us think that these guys may be in over their heads. In addition to the crossover, Fisker is expected to introduce the soon-to-be released Karma saloon, a hard-top convertible version called the Karma S, a four-wheel-drive version of the Karma, and a new ’Nina’ model. We want to be wrong on this because we love what Henrik Fisker did with the Karma, but it just feels like they’re biting off more than they can chew.
Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is no dummy. Before he was in the hybrid car game he was supplying the world with sleek coupes and convertibles like the Tramonto and Latigo. So when his company put out the production Karma sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, Fisker also lobbed off two doors and the roof to create the Karma S concept car.
The Karma S shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and Q-Drive powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. So just like the sedan, the convertible can run up to 50 miles on using its lithium-ion battery pack to power the combined 403 hp of the two electric motors. Beyond the battery-packs range a 260 hp 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine will generate the electricity.
The design provides for a compact folding hardtop that doesn’t interfere too much with the car’s design lines. No word yet on how much added wright comes with losing the Karma’s top, but that will become clear when/if this car makes its planned 2011 production deadline.
Press release after the jump.
Fisker is not only going to unveil the Karma sedan at the North American International Auto Show, but it also will show off a convertible version in Detroit. There was an official teaser image of the Karma S Sunset Concept released by Fisker, and the team from KORS Design decided to fill in the gaps.
The Fisker Karma S will be powered by the Karma’s Q-Drive gas/electric powertrain. The Q-Drive should use a similar setup to the Chevrolet Volt. The car can be plugged to give a range of 50 miles on a full charge, and then a gas engine can recharge the batteries to extend the range. The Karma line will run off of a Lithium-Ion battery pack and should provide about 408hp from two electric motors.
Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium sports car company, today unveiled its first production car, the Fisker Karma, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The first of its kind four-door plug-in hybrid premium sports sedan will have a starting price of $80,000. Initial deliveries of the Karma will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 with annual production projected to reach 15,000 cars. The first 99 cars off the assembly line will be individually numbered and signed by Henrik Fisker and will be produced in the color and trim of the show car seen at NAIAS.