Car designer Henrik Fisker muscles back into automotive limelight

The Galpin-Fisker Rocket will be heading for limited production in 2015. — AFP-Relaxnews pic
The Galpin-Fisker Rocket will be heading for limited production in 2015. — AFP-Relaxnews pic

LOS ANGELES, Nov 21 — The Galpin Rocket, unveiled at the LA Auto Show, is a bespoke take on the current Ford Mustang and one that is likely to come with a US$100,000+ (RM330,000+) price tag when it goes into limited hand-built construction.

But what makes it a standout car at this year’s event isn’t its price, or its promised performance, it’s the man who designed it.

Henrik Fisker is responsible for some of the most elegantly designed cars ever to grace a public highway. His portfolio includes the BMW Z8, the Aston Martin Vantage and the Aston Martin DB9.

After leaving his post as Aston Martin’s design director he set up his own business with the aim of creating equally elegant, premium hybrid sports cars. Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and although the Fisker Karma was indeed a beautiful car to behold, the business went under and Fisker has been away from car design for two years.

However, the Rocket is a very impressive way to make a comeback. Described as the ultimate muscle car, it was created in partnership with Galpin Motors — the world’s largest Ford car dealer. Its carbon-fibre body takes the current Mustang as a starting point but pushes elements of the exterior design to another level with muscular overhangs, wide hips and more pronounced air inlets plus a huge hexagonal front grille.

Power will come from a highly modified version of Ford’s current V8 motor complete with supercharger. Neither Galpin nor Fisker will reveal details like acceleration times or top speeds but the car’s power plant will be capable of outputting 725hp and the car is said to be as fast as any Mustang ever built.

Meanwhile individual customers will be able to set up the ride and suspension to suit their own driving style.

“It’s a special moment when you get to work on a car like the Ford Mustang. This is a project born out of passion, it’s a dream come true, to have the opportunity to ‘touch’ a Mustang and apply my design ideas to it,” said Fisker of the Rocket. “I love the 60’s American muscle cars. They are more sculptured, with more radical proportions and bold details than European counterparts. My favourite Mustang is the 1968 Shelby GT500 that had this long hood and huge air intakes; it gave me butterflies the first time I saw it. We wanted to recreate that feeling with this car.”

As for price, the Rocket aims to be the best sportscar available in terms of performance, fit, features and exclusivity in the US$100,000-US$150,000 bracket and the hope is that Galpin’s customisation arm, Galpin Auto Sports, builds 100 examples over the next 12 months. — AFP-Relaxnews