Alongside the Karma-based, Corvette-powered Destino, the Force 1 is the second product from VLF Automotive. Fisker has taken partnership in the new firm as chief designer alongside chairman Bob Lutz and CEO Gilbert Villarreal. The company isn't saying explicitly what the Force 1 is based on, but it doesn't take a CSI team to trace its roots back to the Dodge Viper.
Never mind that it's being built in Auburn Hills – the same Detroit suburb where Chrysler is headquartered – or that it was jointly developed by Fisker and professional Viper racer and dealer Ben Keating. It also happens to be powered by an 8.4-liter V10, and there aren't many of those kicking around the industry. Instead of the Viper's 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, the Force 1's ten-cylinder engine is optimized to deliver 745 hp and 638 lb-ft. That, according to VLF, is enough to send the coupe rocketing to 60 in 3.0 seconds flat, covering the quarter-mile in under 11 seconds on its way to a top speed of 218 miles per hour. The power is transmitted to the Pirelli PZero rubber through a six-speed manual, but VLF says it will fit it with an automatic at the customer's request.
Around that massive engine and two-seat cockpit, Fisker designed a new shape that, for better or for worse, looks way more aggressive than the Viper's. The Force 1's proportions are tellingly super-snake, but the curves are replaced by some very angry-looking angles and vents. Its head- and taillights are ultra thin, and the deep-dish, split-four-spoke wheels seem to visually split the difference between the three-spoke wheels on the original Viper and the five-spoke alloys it wears today.
If you doubted the Force 1's origins before, the interior ought to give it away, with its wide tunnel and familiar surfaces. Only VLF has refinished it in leather, suede, and Alcantara, all diamond stitched with contrasting thread to help position this as a more luxurious prospect than the Dodge. It even fit between the seatbacks place for two champagne bottles that we hope nobody would consider consuming before trying to handle that much power.
Of course, none of this will come cheap. VLF plans on making 50 examples, each priced at $268,500 – which is a little more than the MSRP on another ten-cylinder supercar known as the Lamborghini Huracán. It will only be sold through Keating's ViperExchange.com, which sells more Vipers than any other dealer in the world. That in and of itself sets up the Force 1 as a worthy followup act to the Rocket that Fisker designed for Galpin – only more aggressive under the hood and over it.
Legendary Designer Henrik Fisker and Race Car Driver Ben Keating Develop the Ultimate American Driving Machine
DETROIT (JANUARY 12, 2016) – Legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker and American race car driver Ben Keating today unveiled the 2016 Force 1 V10, an all-new American Super Car, during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The two-seat, all carbon fiber-bodied Force 1 is a high-performance, low-production sports car, manufactured in Auburn Hills, Michigan by the newly launched VLF Automotive, of which Fisker is a partner and design chief.
"Force 1 is another dramatic example of what we are going to do at VLF Automotive by combining proven world-class platforms and components with elegant designs to produce stunning bespoke luxury sports vehicles" said Bob Lutz, VLF Automotive Chairman.
Fisker and Keating entered partnership discussions in early 2015 after bonding over their mutual love of cars, fondness for each other's professional work and the possibilities that could emerge if their skill sets intersected.
"What inspired me most about building this partnership with Ben is that he is the most passionate Viper racer in the world and understands performance metrics in cars, both on the track and on the road, better than anyone I've ever met," said Fisker. "He's developed a unique active suspension for superior handling and ride, which is seamlessly integrated into the Force 1, enhancing performance whether on track or road."
"To work with Henrik as one of the world's best designers to create a super exciting, wide curvy body for this amazing car is the opportunity of a lifetime," Keating said. "Plus, it's the perfect vehicle to showcase many of the incredible performance features we've been working on for years. It really is the chance to start with an amazing initial platform to develop an incredible American super car with exceptional design and performance." Force 1 V10 features an all carbon fiber, lightweight body and 21-inch wheels with high-performance Pirelli P Zero tires and Brembo high-performance brakes. The car has one of the most powerful naturally aspirated road engines in the world delivering the best performance in its price class.
Force 1 embodies Henrik Fisker's design language, which underpins all VLF Automotive cars. With Fisker's signature balance between proportion, sculpture and graphics, the exterior design of Force 1 boasts classic American sports car proportions with a long hood, short front overhang, long tail and pushed out wheels.
"In the case of Force 1, there is an extremely pushed back green house," Fisker explained. "The sculpture on Force 1 is like a family succession to Destino, dramatic and powerful, relative flat surfaces on the high end of the body side, with lines full of tension, emerging onto a rounder lower section, where Force 1 has a large functional outlet. The sculptural hood has unique, large, negative surfaces, as in the family of the Destino, with six highly needed air intakes and outlets for the 745-HP 8.4 L V10 engine. The windscreen wraps around into the side glass, followed by an elegant, yet aggressive side line sweeping up towards the rear deck. The graphics are uniquely sleek with ultra-thin lights in front and UTV laser-blade tail lamps, the thinnest tail lamps in the world, at the rear. The day light opening (DLO), or side window, has a completely new and never before seen graffic that ends up in a sharp spear."
Force 1 incorporates downforce elements such as the deep front spoiler and aggressive rear diffusor in pure visible carbon fiber. At the top of the rear glass sits a unique rear wing spoiler also housing the in car Wi-Fi and third brake light.
Both the front and rear signature Henrik Fisker wheels have a concave section design to improve strength of the wheel, requiring less mass. The 21-inch aluminum wheels with wide high-performance Pirelli tires sits in lean, sculptured, pronounced wheel arches. The front features an aggressive grille housing the VLF logo in the center and two ultra-slim lights sitting above the grille. The interior is luxurious, with hand stitched ultra-soft leather, Alcantara, suede with several other unique features, such as a champagne holder.
Production commences at the end of April 2016 in Auburn Hills and deliveries begin in third quarter 2016, with the base price starting at $268,500. Force 1 V10 will be produced in limited numbers with an initial production of only 50 units and available through Ben Keating's Viper Exchange. Besides owning a limited edition all-American, high-performance luxury sports car, Force1 V10 owners will have the unique opportunity to attend two racing events per year with Ben Keating as an integral part of the team, in the paddock and in the pits where all the action takes place. This is an exclusive, all-access pass into the drama and excitement of sport car racing in a way found nowhere else.