The V8-engined rear-wheel-drive Wiesmann Project Gecko has been scheduled to launch in 2020. Wiesmann, a German automobile manufacturer specialized in hand-built custom convertibles, was founded by brothers, engineer Martin Wiesmann and businessman Friedhelm Wiesmann, in 1988.
The company, which closed in 2014, will relaunch next year with Project Gecko, which is inspired by the brand’s last car – the limited-edition 2009 GT MF5, a closed two-seater and two-seater roadster that was limited to just 55 cars. In the past, Weissmann, which built around 180 hand-built cars a year, used a gecko logo because they claimed their vehicles "stick to the road like geckos to a wall."
Although the company hasn’t released any technical details regarding the new sports car, a teaser video verifies that it will be powered by a BMW-sourced twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which may be the 553bhp 4.4-liter unit from the previous-generation M5.
The engine will deliver power to the rear wheels through the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an active limited-slip differential as the former M5. Wiesmann has stated that Project Gecko will be manufactured on an all-new, lightweight platform with an integrated tubular safety cell, which provides a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
The styling of Project Gecko will resemble the GT MF5’s. The teaser video suggests the production car will also feature a Jaguar XK 120-type radiator grille, LED light clusters, sloping roofline, wide haunches, duck-tail spoiler, and narrow hood. The interior will include a pair of deep bucket seats, trimmed in a blend of leather and carbon fiber.
In the CAD drawing shown in the teaser video, the chassis of Project Gecko will feature a fully independent, manually adjustable, double wishbone suspension system and a set of vented and drilled disc brakes, gripped by six-piston calipers. Also, it will likely include carbon fiber body panels and a carbon fiber rear spoiler.
The model will be assembled at the original Wiesmann factory in Dulmen, Germany. Project Gecko, which is overseen by the company’s new CEO Roheen Berry, has been under development since 2016.
According to Berry, “This last true independent manufacturer of German sports cars is back and has an exciting future to look forward to. When we set out on this journey, we said we wanted to re-engineer an icon and we are on track to do exactly that.” Wiesmann is currently accepting expressions of interest for Project Gecko.