Henrik Fisker was the design guy for BMW who designed the Z8, then he was picked up by Aston Martin, where he is credited with the final design of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In 2006, he left to start his own design company, Fisker Coachbuild. His intent was to bring back the fine art of Coachbuilding, and he wanted to make limited edition cars on existing chassis designs to give high-end customers something unique. His idea was that certain customers wanted more than just another off-the-lot Ferrari or Aston Martin (his viewpoints obviously are the same reasons companies go with MSO, PTO, and other customization options these days).
His first two designs were the Fisker Latigo and Fisker Tramonto. Both were intended to be limited to 150 cars each, then he would create new designs and start another limited production run. The Latigo is a 2-door, 4-seat coupe, built on a BMW 6-series chassis. The Tramonto is a 2-seat roadster built on a Mercedes SL500 chassis. The Latigo is a fully custom coach-built car with custom aluminum and carbon fiber body panels, a custom engine by RD Sport (Racing Dynamics) and a custom interior created by a high-end Italian furniture designer. Customers could opt for various engine upgrades and interior treatments in order to build something unique. My car, badged as #001 of 150, was the first Latigo built, using the highest-spec 6-series starter car, the 2006 BMW M6. That car was purchased by a customer and delivered new to Fisker Coachbuild in Southern California. That customer opted for every possible upgrade, including a $55,000 engine built by RD Sport. The engine is built to F1 standards and puts out 650HP, naturally aspirated, and includes billet crankshaft, billet rods, and a set of forged pistons that are among the lightest ever found in a production car. The ported Cylinder heads are 17% more efficient than stock, and the larger pistons and modified cam profile is mated to modified intake, exhaust, and ECU tune to create what was considered, at the time, one of the fastest cars in the world. The customer paid Fisker Coachbuild $216,000 in addition to the $100K he paid for the M6. At over $300K, you can imagine why many were not sold. There are a number of magazine articles written about this car, and i have many of them to go with the car.
The hood and roof are lightweight custom carbon fiber. The doors, quarter panels and other body panels are aluminum, and you can see by the photos the that design is evocative of other Fisker designs, as many people think the front end looks like and Aston and the rear end reminds them of the Z8 (notice the skinny taillight treatments, sort of a Fisker trait). The Design softened what was considered a somewhat ungainly rear end of the stock M6 (the Bangle Butt).
But: Fisker only sold ONE Fisker Latigo and 12 Tramontos. The car was just too expensive at the time, and customers started asking Fisker for an electric car (oil prices were skyrocketing in 2006). So my car #001 is the only one on the world. There is also the prototype car that was never sold to a customer (car #000) but it has just a stock engine and is based on a BMW 645i. That car is reported to be somewhere in Europe. Several cars were ordered and then some customers backed out, and this car, which was slated to be #003, became car #001. This is a rare, beautiful, fast, and unique car!
Edit as of Feb 2018: I sold the Fisker Latigo #001 after 7 great years of ownership. It received quite a bit of attention. See this link to the auction sale done on BringaTrailer.com
From the RD Sport website, the following is RD Sport's description of it's M6 and M5 engine upgrade, aka "Motor Tuning" package RS58:
"True to its tradition, once again RDSport discounts the easier forced-induction route and pushes the envelope of its normally aspirated motors to a new level with 650hp 5.8L RS58 stroker motor.
The V-10 RS58 uses much of the same technology found in the latest F1 motors: billet crankshaft, billet rods, and a set of forged pistons that are amongst the lightest to ever find their way into a production-based motor.
The ported cylinder heads boast 17% more efficiency than the stock ones, and this is mainly obtained through the use of larger valves and modified cam profiles.
The RS 58 M5 Package comes complete with a full exhaust system, including Race Exhaust Manifolds, Metal Matrix Sport Catalytic Converters, Sport X-Flow Midpipe and Competition Rear Silencers with Quad Tips."
Pages from the Company's Brochure show some of the options available...
Added these interior shots and engine pics. Note the underside of the all-carbon-fiber hood…also note the two plaques indicating "001 of 150". Optimism abounds!!