The name of Henrik Fisker is no stranger to Aston Martin having worked as director of design from 2001 to 2004. He was credited with both the V8 Vantage and DB9 but left the company in 2004 to pursue other projects. Yet for 2015, Fisker has returned to Aston Martin although in an unofficial way as he took the wraps off of his latest design study, the Thunderbolt, at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegence. The Thunderbolt is a  powerful GT coupe; his personal interpretation of how his Aston Martin Vanquish coupe could look like.

This prototype car, is however not actually based on a Vanquish at all; Thunderbolt is actually based on a 2009 DBS coupe, a less expensive base car for a project needing totally bespoke coachwork.



The Thunderbolt’s powerful exterior profile is the result of hand-laid, coach-built carbon fiber bodywork that incorporates Henrik Fisker’s characteristic design cues such as a clean body side with no creases and deeply sculpted air ducting.

The bonnet on this one-off design study is dominated by a large power bulge with long triangular sculpted air intakes and also incorporates fitment of unique head lamps; thin protruding, blade-like, tail lamps; a wraparound rear window and panoramic dark tinted glass roof; as well as updated exterior detailing including aluminum grille and assorted bright work. Performance upgrades include lowering the standard ride height of the car by 15 millimeters and fitment of 21-inch alloy wheels with performance tyres.

Inside, the changes are no less dramatic. While maintaining a traditional elegance, Thunderbolt’s concept interior features class-leading connectivity and user interfaces. Among its range of new appointments, the Thunderbolt concept features the world’s first application of Panasonic’s 11.6-inch Curved Control Screen in a car, as a result of a research partnership between Panasonic and Henrik Fisker. Designed to reduce reflections and glare, the screen’s extraordinary resolution is complimented by the fact that it is adjustable in height according to driver preference.

Another outcome of a longstanding partnership between renowned Swiss watch maker Maurice Lacroix and Henrik Fisker, is a Skeleton chronograph integrated into the dash, as well as specially trimmed leather surfaces from Italian furniture manufacturer, Natuzzi. Thunderbolt also includes a unique champagne/wine bottle holder – the first of its kind in a two-seat sports coupe – for securely transporting a bottle or two, to dinner parties as a gift.

It should be noted the Thunderbolt is in no way affiliated with, sponsored or endorsed by Aston Martin. Developed purely as a design study, the prototype unveiled at Amelia Island is a design study only, and Henrik Fisker’s personal view. Although there were no plans to offer the prototype exhibited at Amelia for sale, based on initial response however, an extremely limited number of additional cars could be made on a special order basis. These would be available exclusively through Galpin Aston Martin, the AM dealer in LA, ensuring that the vehicle remains a true collectible and rare sight. These secondary coach-built Thunderbolt’s would feature a revised front end as shown on the red rendering, a new unique grill and a revised infotainment system without the curved Panasonic screen – as this feature is a prototype. All body modifications, would be performed through a program using renowned concept car builder GFMI Metalcrafters Inc., of Fountain Valley, Calif., to handle all the carbon fiber coach work. Additional performance and interior upgrades would be executed through Galpin Auto Sports.

Following his time at Aston Martin, Henrik Fisker went on to create Fisker Coachbuild, producing tailor made luxury cars based on production platforms and the ill fated Fisker Automotive, who built the revolutionary Karma, the worlds first production plug-in hybrid electric car.

Barely a week after the Thunderbolt was unveiled, Aston Martin Lagonda  issued a lawsuit against both Fisker and Galpin Auto Sports over trademark infringement and other related issues they were not happy with.