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Frankfurt debut for Melkus S2000

I STUMBLED across this absolutely delightful sports car at Frankfurt. The Melkus RS2000. Very much in the Lotus mould of lightweight construction – and, indeed, looks – the attention to detail was fabulous. There are even gull-wing doors, something available on the much grander Mercedes SLS AMG also unveiled at the same show with the sort of pomp only Mercedes can muster.

Melkus, it turns out, is primarily a racing car manufacturer. Based in Dresden, the company has been mainly hidden from view behind the Iron Curtain. Or, at least was, which is why we know so little about the company.

It was founded by Heinz Melkus, a notable East German racing driver, and is now run by Sepp Melkus, the grandson. It’s still very much a small family business.

The new RS2000 is the first car for 30 years from Melkus, and follows in the wheel tracks of the RS1000. It is built by hand and Melkus plans to build just 25 cars a year. The company already has deposits.

The RS2000 features an aluminium chassis with carbon fibre body, and is powered by a 1.8-litre Toyota engine producing 270PS. The inside features sixties style diamond stitched leather on the sills and seats. I’m a bit of sucker for that sort of appearance, I must admit.

However, there is a price to pay for this exclusivity and detail: 107,500 euros. Hmmm, don’t think I’ll be able to gather together a deposit…let alone the final price!

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