Henrik Fisker undoubtedly needed a palate cleanser once free of the entanglements of running a startup automaker, and the Dane certainly seems rejuvenated after his quickie project with Galpin Auto Sports. When we say "quickie," we don't mean half-assed. The Galpin Rocket, a mostly rebodied armed to the teeth with forced induction and carbon fiber, is most assuredly all of dat azz and then some.
The night we arrived at Amelia Island, we received a text from Galpin's PR team, asking us if we'd like to take a spin in the Rocket, last fall. Never ones to turn down an opportunity to sample an iteration of a fortified with additional grunt, we accepted.
It takes chutzpah to start one's own . It also takes a measure of the stuff to redesign one of America's most beloved automobiles. Needless to say, Henrik Fisker is not a man short on chutzpah. He's reshaped nearly the entire body of the car, rendering the majority of the new bits in carbon fiber. The rear end kicks up into a tasteful, early-'70s-style ducktail, while the nose becomes a gaping hexagonal maw bisected by a chrome bar. The interior stays largely stock, but the fine Italian leather that wraps the seats and console does wonders for the overall cabin experience.
If the meat of the Rocket lies in Fisker's redesign, the throbbing, sinister heart of the thing is Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V-8, goosed by a Whipple supercharger displacing 2.9 liters. The blower sits on top of stock internals, and while Galpin didn't have torque figures handy, they've measured a healthy 630 horsepower at the wheels.
That number suggests that if the huffed Coyote isn't quite touching the claimed 725 horses at the crank (though it could well be), it's at least making significantly more power than the 662-hp GT500, which was a lunatic handful of an automobile. The Rocket, however, is pie-easy to drive. The manual transmission is the same Porsche-slick unit you'll find in the GT. For now, the clutch is stock, though we imagine owners intent on serious use will opt for something more substantial.
Running through the gears, we managed to spin the rear wheels at 90 mph in fifth. Mark Donohue might've requested that the feat also be possible at the top of sixth, but we are not Mark Donohue and this is not a Can-Am car, though it does make more power than Dan Gurney's old McLeagle. Unlike Gurney's McLaren-derived special, the Rocket is utterly tractable and has space for both passengers and groceries.
Our niggles with the car are few. Galpin is still making final tweaks to the suspension setup, and while it seems about 85% right, the progressive springs initially feel slightly too soft. The zooty Bassani exhaust has a tendency to drone at steady-state freeway speeds. We also noticed some significant wind noise behind the driver's head. A possible solution? We hear that Galpin is considering a convertible version of the Rocket. Drop the top and those trifles vanish.
We get that some might blanch at spending $125k for a new Mustang. Were it our stack of cash, we'd likely spend it on something else. That said, we can absolutely understand why a certain type of person would opt to splash out for the Rocket. It's distinctive, attractive, rare, and about as fast as you probably need a car to be.
In spirit, Fisker's ponycar is an Aston DB5 Zagato crossed with a Nickey Corvette or a Baldwin-Motion Camaro. As such, we don't doubt its future collector-car viability. Hang onto your Rocket, and you'll likely make the cryogenically preserved brain of Craig Jackson a pretty penny in 2055 Scottsdale. In the meantime, don't be afraid to drive the snot out of your Rocket. After all, it's not as if you won't be able to find parts.