Designer Henrik Fisker filed a $100 million civil extortion lawsuit on Monday against Aston Martin, claiming his former employer wants to prevent him from unveiling a new supercar at next week’s Detroit auto show.
Fisker, the former star design director at Aston Martin who created the DB9 and V8 Vantage, among other cars, released a top-view sketch of The Force 1 last month.
According to Fisker’s website, it is scheduled to go into production in April.
“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 Monday accompanying the suit. “I refuse to be intimidated, and that is the reason for today’s filing.”
According to the suit, David Kelly, an attorney representing Aston Martin, sent Fisker a letter on Dec. 23 demanding that Fisker hold off on unveiling the car in Detroit or change the design altogether to “avoid conflict with Aston Martin’s rights,” which Aston Martin would “not hesitate to protect.”
Kelly says in the letter that The Force 1 design seen in the sketch is “strikingly similar” to the Aston Martin DB10, the car created for the latest James Bond film “Spectre.”
Kelly did note, however, that Aston Martin does “not know what the final version” of The Force 1 will look like.
Fisker’s lawyer, Jonathan Michaels, said the cars feature “vastly different” proportions.
He said Aston Martin, which has not posted a profit in the last four years, is “hanging on for life” and is doing all it can to prevent Fisker from competing with it.
“Henrik, coming in, causes a problem” for Aston Martin, Michaels said.
"We believe that Mr. Fisker's lawsuit is without merit. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending litigation," Aston Martin spokesman Matthew Clarke said.