German sports car maker Wiesmann will end a tumultuous period in its history by introducing a new car in 2020. Called Project Gecko internally, the model will draw inspiration from the limited-edition GT MF5 of 2009.
Project Gecko will spearhead the company's comeback after a short hiatus. It remains under wraps, but teaser images strongly suggest it falls in line with the previous design language, featuring a long bonnet that flows into an upright grille with vertical slats, plus a sloping roofline and pronounced rear wheel arches. Wiesmann points out that its stylists call the model an evolution, not a revolution.
Lightweight materials such as aluminium keep the car's mass in check. That's even more important than it was in 2009, because the regulations with which the coupé must comply to be street legal in key markets around the globe have become much stricter. Wiesmann has also pledged to modernise key features, likely in the name of comfort and daily usability.
Project Gecko – a name that won't be used in production – will arrive with a front-mid-mounted 4.4-litre V8 engine provided by BMW's M division. The twin-turbocharged unit will spin the rear wheels through a BMW-sourced automatic gearbox in a mechanical layout that enable a 50:50 weight distribution. Wiesmann hasn't published any performance specifications yet.
The new car will be assembled by hand at the original Wiesmann factory in Dülmen, Germany. Production is scheduled to start in 2020, so we expect to learn more details about the car over the coming months. While pricing hasn't been announced publicly, enthusiasts interested in the first new Wiesmann model in more than a decade can put their name on the waiting list from 17 September.
Wiesmann's decision to rummage through the BMW parts bin hardly comes as a surprise. Founded in 1988, the German firm has historically powered its cars with six, eight and ten-cylinder engines stamped with a Munich parts number. Using turn-key components allowed it to keep costs in check while developing limited-edition sports cars with a retro-inspired design, although it filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and has struggled to recover since.