A niche German sports car marque known for retro roadsters powered by modern BMW engines is making a comeback.
Wiesmann, currently led by Mercedes-Benz veteran Mario Spitzner, is working on a new sports car and on Tuesday signed a deal to source V-8 engines from BMW M—most likely the BMW tuner’s 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8.
“Our co-operation with BMW AG is an important foundation for successfully developing and positioning Wiesmann Sports Cars,“ Spitzner said in a statement. “The exact date when the new Wiesmann model will go on sale will be announced at a later point.”
Wiesmanns have been powered by BMW M engines since 1993 so the announcement of the latest deal carries on the tradition.
The company was founded in 1988 by brothers Friedhelm and Martin Wiesmann. Its finances hit the skids in 2013 in what turned out to be a dark period for niche German sports car marques. Along with Dülmen-based Wiesmann, names such as Artega, Gumpert and Melkus all faced insolvency due to an economic slowdown in Europe.
Fortunately for Wiesmann, a pair of Indian investors, also brothers, bought the company in 2015 and injected some much-needed funds, an undisclosed 8-figure sum. The investors, Roheen and Sahir Berry, were already Wiesmann customers and were keen to see the company continue. They are working closely with the founders and are keeping production in Wiesmann’s home of Dülmen.
With the new owners there is also a new focus: tapping global markets. This means Wiesmann’s latest cars will be offered in both left- and right-hand drive for the first time, enabling them to be sold in more markets. No word yet if the cars will make it to the United States, though.
As sports cars become increasingly more complex and loaded with technologies that take away from the driving experience, perhaps we’ll see a resurgence in the popularity of more traditional models where all that’s needed is a powerful engine, a manual transmission and a pair of seats. There’s already TVR with its new Griffithand Jannarelly with the Design-1, and soon we’ll be able to add Wiesmann and its new sports car to the list.