The Facel 'Vega' was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon. By 1956 the cars were called FVS (for Facel Vega Sport), earlier cars often being referred to as simply "FV". The 1954 versions of the Facel were fitted with a DeSoto Firedome (Chrysler) 4.5 litre Hemi V8 engine, paired with either Chrysler's two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission or, at extra cost, a four-speed manual made by Pont-à-Mousson. At this stage, the 180 hp (130 kW) FV was capable of a top speed from 172 to 193 km/h (107 to 120 mph), depending on which rear axle ratio was installed. The chassis, designed by Lance Macklin, was tubular framed, featuring coil springs and double wishbones at the front, with a leaf-sprung live rear axle. The styling, by Daninos himself, was somewhat American and perhaps a bit heavy, with rudimentary tail fins. The body was an expanded version of the earlier, Facel-bodied Simca/Ford Comète. An abundance of stainless steel brightwork was fitted.