Frankfurt Auto ShowFRANKFURT – Fisker Coachbuild LLC, led by former Aston Martin design chief Henrik Fisker, makes its world debut here with a pair of luxury sports cars based on two icons of German engineering.

The ’06 Fisker Tramonto is a 610-hp 2-seater built on the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG’s architecture, and the ’06 Fisker Latigo CS is a 550-hp coupe with the underpinnings of the BMW 650 CSi.

Scheduled for worldwide production runs of just 150 each, the cars will sell for $296,775 and $197,900, respectively.

’06 Fisker Tramanto

The vehicles are being unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show, which also serves as the venue for Fisker Coachbuild’s coming-out party. Established less than a year ago, the California-based company claims to be more than a tuner house, saying its goal is to up the ante on automotive design. (See related story: New Car Company Born )

“To bring a car to market that true automotive enthusiasts can drive and enjoy, we have created a car company where the production process is built around the design – to allow emotion and performance to blend more harmoniously than ever before,” CEO Henrik Fisker says.

Backed by outside investors, Henrik Fisker and partner Bernhard Koehler established the private company shortly after the high-profile designer bolted suddenly from Aston Martin, just as the storied British brand was gathering momentum. (See related story: Aston Martin Design Chief Quits Ford)

The Henrik Fisker-inspired V-12 Vanquish supercar put Aston Martin back in the spotlight in 2002. And this year, for the first time in four decades, the boutique brand posted an operating profit.

Aston Martin, the smallest brand within Ford Motor Co.’s Premier Automotive Group, recorded profits in each of the first and second quarters.

Meanwhile, the DB9 and V8 Vantage coupes – both of which bear Henrik Fisker’s fingerprints – are expected to push Aston’s worldwide annual volume to 5,000 units this year and next. The brand sold 2,400 units, worldwide, in 2004.

But exclusive, high-luxury sports cars represent a segment that has not been exploited fully, says Koehler, Fisker Coachbuild’s chief operating officer.

Fisker Coachbuild is “not simply a new car company,” Koehler claims, “but a new vision for what an exotic, high-performance, coach-built car can be.

’06 Fisker Latigo CS

“We have combined extraordinarily beautiful design with existing world-class engineering to deliver a final product without compromise,” he adds.

The Tramanto, which features a retractable hardtop, has a shorter rear and longer hood than the SL55.

It is powered by a supercharged 5.5L, 24-valve V-8 with forged aluminum pistons, a precision-balanced crankshaft and a liquid-to-air intercooler that enables 4.5-second performance from 0-60 mph (97 km/h).

Its supercharger comes from Kleeman, which supplies Mercedes-Benz with its Kompressor technology.

The Latigo CS is less flamboyant than the Tramanto. It is in the final stages of development, so a complete list of specifications is not available, the company says.

It will come standard with a 4.8L, 32-valve V-8 that makes 367 hp. Customers that choose the M6 as Latigo’s base architecture will get a 550-hp V-10.

emayne@primediabusiness.com