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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

East legend is back...in black

The Melkus RS1000, a supercar with its origins in the puttering Trabants of East Germany has been revived as the RS 2000 and has been unveiled for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

The company first supercar - the RS1000 - was built by Heinz Melkus, who ran a driving school in East Germany under the Communist regimes. It all began in 1959, when he founded the first privately run driving school in Dresden before cannibalising the cars to create a 75-horsepower RS1000 in 1969, which was remarkable not least for its wing doors.
Melkus RS1000. (Picture from: http://www.thepetrolstop.com/)
Melkus took a one-litre, three-cylinder Wartburg engine, tuned it and added a gear to make it capable of reaching 160kph (99 mph). The car allowed the driving instructor to become a racing driver and he won 80 Formula 3 races and championed East Germany for six years in a row.
Melkus RS2000 in 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show. (Picture from: http://www.autoblog.com/)
He somehow managed to convince the suspicious Communist leaders that far from being a decadent example of Western luxury, the car was technological proof of the regime's superiority.
2012 Melkus RS2000 Black Edition. (Picture from: http://www.gtspirit.com/)
In 1986, Melkus ceased production on cars altogether and didn’t resurface officially until Peter Melkus, the son of Heinz Melkus, announced in 2006 that Melkus engineering (owned by Peter) would re-launch and update the only production road car Melkus has ever produced, the RS1000. In total 101 were produced in its 10 year life with a further 15 special version built in 2006 to commemorate the 50 years of the company. And now the car became a collectors' item: only around 80 are still on the road.
Right side view of 2012 Melkus RS2000 Black Edition. (Picture from: http://www.gtspirit.com/)
Flash forward to 2012, and Melkus RS2000 is back…in black…and lots of it. The Black edition Melkus RS2000 takes the original RS2000 and adds a gleaming — thanks to the painstakingly applied six layers of clearcoat – piano lacquer finish. Adding an air of exclusivity, only a total of five cars from Menkus’ Dresden factory will feature the exclusive paintjob.
Rear three quarter of 2012 Melkus RS2000 Black Edition. (Picture from: http://www.gtspirit.com/)
Apart from its shiny new coat, the diminutive RS2000 is powered by a 325 horsepower two-liter turbo-engine with a 6-speed gearbox. Off the line, the RS2000 can hit a top speed of 257.5 kph (168 mph) and sprint from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in a respectable 4.5 seconds.
In a nod to the company’s original RS1000, the RS2000 features beautifully striking gull-wing doors, while adding a comprehensive carbon-fiber bodykit, navigation and infotainment system, as well as a high performance breaking system. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | MELKUS MOTORSPORT | DIGITAL TREND]
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