If you’re in the market for a 700-horsepower sports car with a carbon-fiber body and a pedigree, tiny VLF Automotive might have your hot ride.

VLF, a small Michigan company with heavyweight principals, introduced its Force 1 V10 super-car Tuesday at the Detroit auto show, unveiling an edgy, aggressive-looking two-seater based on a Dodge Viper.

The new company’s principals include Bob Lutz, the former head of global product development at Chrysler and later, vice chairman of global product development at General Motors; designer Henrik Fisker, who worked on significant vehicles at BMW, Ford and Aston Martin; entrepreneur Gilbert Villarreal; and race-car driver Ben Keating.

Already, the Force 1 is the subject of a lawsuit between Fisker and Aston Martin, which contends the new sports car looks too much like an Aston.

It’s a bit hard to see, but the Force 1 certainly should have no trouble drawing a crowd.

Wearing a blustery, swooping carbon-fiber body, 21-inch wheels and configured – like the Viper – with a long hood and extremely short trunk, the car will be aimed at wealthy enthusiasts looking for something unique.

The Force 1 will be powered by a 745-horsepower version of the Viper’s 8.4-liter V-10, but will offer a more luxurious hand-stitched leather interior equipped with a champagne holder.

It will be capable of hitting 60 mph in 3 seconds and has a top speed of 218 mph, VLF said. Pricing for the Force 1 starts at $268,500.

Initial production will be limited to 50 vehicles and VLF says it will start delivering cars in the third quarter.

The new company — funded partly by a $10 million investment by Lutz and Villarreal — is based in Auburn Hills.

“This is an American supercar,” Fisker said. “We’ve created a very unique design here that stands up for itself.”


-Originally published by The Dallas Morning News on January 12, 2016-