Kahn Vengeance Claims to Have Aston Martin's Blessing
18 May 2015 - Autoblog
Last week we brought you the first renderings of a coachbuilt Aston Martin DB9 called the Vengeance that's being developed by Kahn Design. The emergence of the project raised a valid question: if Aston Martin quashed a similar venture by Henrik Fisker, wouldn't the Kahn Vengeance suffer a similar fate?
Not according to Kahn. In a statement released to the press, company spokesman Mo Bhana said that "unlike the David Brown Speedback GT and recent Fisker Thunderbolt that ended in a lawsuit, there are no copyright issues with the Vengeance since Aston Martin has confirmed they have entered into a supply deal with us."
The incidents Bhana refers to are over two coachbuilder projects that have come up recently and which have drawn the ire of Gaydon. The first is the Speedback GT developed by David Brown Automotive and assembled by a British coachbuilder called Envisage. The latter company also supplies parts and tooling to Aston Martin, which sued Envisage over concerns that its designs were being misappropriated. Given the resemblance of the Speedback to certain classic Astons, and the use of the name David Brown (which happens to be shared by the Speedback's patron and a key figure from Aston's history), reports began circulating that Aston was suing Envisage over the Speedback project, however David Brown Automotive refuted the allegations.
The second was Project Thunderbolt, a rebodied Vanquish designed by Henrik Fisker – the same Danish designer who penned the DB9 and V8 Vantage while serving as Aston's design director before striking out on his own. Despite the former association, Aston objected to Fisker's project, launched a lawsuit against him and only agreed to drop it after Fisker agreed not to produce the Thunderbolt.
Given Aston's track record, fearing that it would go down the same path would seem reasonable, but Kahn apparently doesn't expect any such difficulties with its supplier. And the company does, after all, also have a history of collaborating with coachbuilders - most notably Zagato.