Before he decided to sing the body electric, Henrik Fisker liked to re-body Bimmers and Mercs. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Latigo may be an über rare example of his small body of work, but is its price electrifying?
Yesterday's candidate may have once been a Fairlady, and a topless one at that, but for 57% of you it didn't come with a fair price. It also seemed, horror or horrors, that the custom '82 280ZX's automatic gearbox was even more of a no trespassing sign than either its price or its questionable provenance.
There's nothing questionable about the pedigree of today's car, as it at once melds some of the best of modern mechanicals with a body design penned by arguably one of the most applauded of contemporary automotive stylists. Henrik Fisker graduated from the Art Center College of Design in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland in 1989, and immediately landed a cushy gig at BMW. Since then, he has jumped to Aston Martin, Ford, and then his own coachbuilding/electric car business. A look at his resume shows that in his wake he has left a litany of beautiful cars in the same way James Bond does comely women. The BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, Ford Shelby GR1 showcar, and his current electric dream, the Karma, all represent designs that aren't just achingly beautiful, but that also ‘look right.' Sure Chris Bangle may be bold and forward-looking in the investigation of new styling dialogs, but hey, some of his stuff seriously brings on the fug.
Interestingly, today's Fisker Latigo CS was an opportunity for the two designers to sort of meet in the metal, and in this case for Fisker to get the final word. In between returning Aston Martins to their rightful place as objets d'art, and introducing his Karma chameleon electric luxury car, Fisker built a very limited number of coachbuilt tourers, based on existing high-zoot cars. Fisker Coachbuild's initial offerings were the Mercedes SL-based Tramonto, and the BMW 6-series (E63) Latigo. Only 150 of each were to be produced, and at more than two hundred grand a piece their target audience would appreciate that exclusivity.
The Latigo maintained the donor BMW's glass, doors, and much of the interior, while modifying everything else with aluminum, steel and lots of carbon fiber to keep it regular. This one happens to be based on the snarling mile-eater M6, and sports a modified version of the BMW V10 under its re-shaped hood that is said to be good for an eye watering 648-bhp.
I'll wait a moment for that to sink in.
Not only does this Latigo rock more ponies than a Chincoteague wet dream, but its transmission is likewise over the top, sporting a Spinal Tap-esque 7 forward speeds. That's a manu-matic with flappy paddles behind the leather wrapped and Fisker embossed steering wheel so you automatic haters will be able to take a half day off.
The rest of the interior is also covered in the kind of leather that's so buttery soft that touching it may elicit impure thoughts of its bovine provider. The textures and color covering the parts you likely would touch in the interior exemplify its no compromise origin. There's a lot of M6 in here, but also enough change that it will still feel like a special place to be, and even after 5 years and 19,000 miles it still looks - and probably smells - like Henrik's craftsmen just finished stitching it together.
Outside, the wheels are bespoke 10-spoke 20" alloys, behind which preen massive cross-drilled disc brakes. Wrapping the wheels are rubber bands disguised as tires, and the whole thing slots into wheel wells that feature simple but generous flares which break the swage line and roll into bumperless end caps. Fisker used these cars to develop his grille treatment, which continues on the Karma, and it's best described as being reminiscent of Anonymous' mustache in V for Vendetta. The car's silver paint lends it an appearance of being carved from a single block of that precious metal, and continues the impression that this Latigo is like-new.
If it were like new, it would probably sport a price tag that's a nose bleed away from the heady heights of three hundred thousand clams. As it is the asking price is still in the stratosphere at $95,900. Yes, that's a lot of Miatas. And yes, neither you nor I could afford that, even if we, together, managed to sell both of your kidneys. But this isn't about us. It isn't even about you spending your remaining days hooked to a dialysis machine. The question here is whether this super rare super car is worth a super premium $95,900. So even if you can't afford it, do you think that's a decent price for someone who could? Or, is this a Latigo to which even the rich should just say no?
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