Specialist car companies may flourish in the garages and sheds of the UK, but in Germany strict regulations and the demands of the tough TUV tests make specialist production almost impossible.

There is one company breaking the mould though - Wiesman. The company was formed back in 1985 by the Weisman brothers, Martin and Friedhelm. They worked on a number of projects and after market products - mainly hard tops for convertibles - to get the money flowing in and then set about their real dream - fast, rear wheel driver sports cars.

Wiesmann Roadster
Weisman Roadster

The first car rolled off the production line in 1993 powered by a BMW straight six and they've not looked back since. Production isn't huge, but it's certainly beyond the 'will they succeed' stage with 300 cars finished to date.

By all accounts they're no randomly assembled kit cars either. German engineering pride dictated that these cars needed to be built well and drive well. Expertise was sought from Bilstein and Eibach to ensure handling was up to scratch. The company logo is a gecko - symbolic of the grip available.

The 3 litre straight engines are bought in from BMW and two states of tune are available - 225bhp and 336bhp. There's even an option to use BMW's SMG gearbox.

Wiesmann Roadster

Performance is brisk with 60mph being reached in 5.9 and 4.9 seconds respectively. Weight is just over 1000kg. That's achieved using a glass fibre reinforced composite body and a space frame chassis (including side impact protection).

Prices for the roadsters are a shade over £50K for the 225bhp version and about £55K for the more powerful version. Used cars are available for as little at £25K.

The Coupe

Wiesmann have recently developed a coupe too. Developed on the race track as well as the road (Nurburgring 24hours race included), the new car will go into production later this year.

Built on an aluminium space frame chassis, the GT makes use of BMW's 4.4 litre V8 and six speed manual gearbox. 325bhp is available as standard but the motor has a lot more potential.

Wiesmann Coupe

Wiesmann Coupe

The coupe has obviously put on weight over the roadster, but it's still a respectable 1190kg allowing it to get to 60mph in 4.6 seconds and on to 173mph.

So now we've whetted your palate, where can you get one? Wiesmann have dealerships in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Austria and Italy. Sadly none in the UK yet, but they are looking for outlets here. The quicker a British dealer starts brining these cars in the better!

Link : www.wiesmann-auto-sport.de , www.wiesmann-roadster-club.de

Comments (28) Join the discussion on the forum

  • MGv8 11 Sep 2003

    Is it a jag? Spitfire? Healey? Lights from TVR?
    AC dash?

    Looks like bits of airfix mixed up and put together.

  • FourWheelDrift 11 Sep 2003

    An absolutely gorgeous piece of kit, with the V8 from the BMW M5 - WOW!!!!!!! Althought I thought they were 400bhp instead of 325bhp I'd love one. This is what MG should have come up with instead of the abysmal MGF. A British style sportscar, made in Germany.

  • PetrolTed 11 Sep 2003

    I think it's a pretty exciting car. I've seen them in the flesh but have yet to experience one on the move.

    Check out the sound files/videos on their website. They sound spot on too.

  • dazren 11 Sep 2003

    I've seen a few softtop versions of these in Nurburg. Absolutely stunning. Beautiful motorcar.


  • daver 11 Sep 2003

    I've always like the idea of an classic styled (Healey-esque) roadster with modern underpinnings. This thing gets my vote. I'll take one with an M3 straight 6 please

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