Wiesmann is back with the twin-turbo BMW V-8-powered Project Gecko
Founded by brothers Martin and Friedhelm in 1988, Germany’s Wiesmann debuted its first production car, the MF30 Roadster, in 1993. Built around a steel monocoque, this fiberglass-bodied two-seater packed BMW’s 228-horsepower straight-six N54 engine before Wiesmann upgraded to the punchier S54. This engine came straight out of the E46 M3, which meant that the car now known as the MF3 set 338 horsepower against roughly 2600 pounds. The MF3 Roadster remained in production for 18 years.
In 2009 Wiesmann followed up with its first V-8s, which came in three iterations and powered either a coupé or a roadster body. The standard MF4 paired BMW’s 367-horsepower naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 (N62) with a six-speed manual gearbox. The MF4-S was essentially the same, with the aforementioned N62 motor massaged to 420 horsepower; the MF4-T used BMW’s 407-horsepower twin-turbo N63 V-8.
While ticking straight-six roadsters and V-8 coupés off its list, Wiesmann also produced the wild MF5s, which came with the E60 BMW M5’s naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V-10. The 500-horsepower S85 engine made it into fewer than 200 Wiesmanns, with the roadster version accounting for just 43 units.
The problems began after Wiesmann decided to build a factory shaped like their gecko logo, which—along with the lack of U.S. homologation—soon led to insolvency. Thus, the company had to close down less than a year after fellow hardcore German sports car maker Gumpert did.
However, Wiesmann’s assets were purchased with the intention of a re-launch in 2020, spearheaded by what Wiesmann is currently referring to as “Project Gecko.”
Wiesmann says the new car will be a “modern take on the cult MF5 model,” adding that the front/mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout will make the most of BMW M’s TwinPower V-8. What’s for sure is that, in the new BMW M8 Competition, this twin-turbo “hot-V” produces 616 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Using the S63B44T4 engine also suggests the Wiesmann won’t offer a manual gearbox for its 2020 model. Still, being familiar with Wiesmann’s ways and BMW M’s engines, Project Gecko does sound exciting. Check out the teaser video below and let us know what you think in the comments.