The Melkus RS2000 is a two-seater mid-engined sports coupe produced shortly after the Melkus marque was relaunched in 2006. It took elements from the road-going RS1000 and transformed them into a race car design with modern styling. The RS200 is limited to 25 units per year and priced at about 60,000 euro. The RS2000 is made of weight-saving materials such as aluminum, glass-reinforced plastic, and carbon fiber. This allows the race car to weigh less than 1000 kg. Under the hood, the vehicle features a four-cylinder turbo engine with an output of 250 hp.
So much promise, yet not enough to back it all up. Such is the case with German automaker Melkus who has now filed for bankruptcy in a Dresden district court.
German press sources have told GTSpirit that sales of the Melkus R2000 have fallen short of the company’s 25-models-a-year target, thus forcing the company to file for bankruptcy in a last ditch effort to keep the company afloat, albeit barely.
Since the company was relaunched in 2006, Melkus has produced a total of one model - the RS2000. Not exactly the kind of business Melkus had hoped for after six years of being in the business. Certainly, the car’s combination of performance and price - the RS2000 has an output of 325 horsepower and is priced at close to $200,000 - is pretty insane, especially considering the multitude of more powerful choices you can have for that kind of money, but apparently it was not enough to warrant any sales.
Melkus’ struggles appear to have come as a result of overestimating the market with a car that doesn’t pack the kind of punch warranted by its price. Now, it appears they’re paying a pretty steep price for it.
After polishing off their RS2000 in 2011, Melkus went back and started working on a special edition to keep the momentum going. It’s called the RS2000 Black Edition and will, of course, be all about the color black, and not much of anything else. The new model will be priced at 149,900 euro - or about $200,000 at the current exchange rates.
The highlight of the new RS2000 Black Edition will be the brilliant deep black applied in six layers. Other than that, customers will get a carbon sport bodykit borrowed from the RS2000 GTS, including a carbon-fiber front spoiler and rear wing, a carbon-fiber diffuser, and side guides. For the interior, the new edition receives black leather seats, an Alcantara covered roof liner, and numerous piano lacquer and carbon trim pieces.
What the RS200 Black Edition lacks in exterior modifications, it doesn’t even make up for in speed. The special edition is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine delivering between 300 HP - 325 HP. Equipped with a a high-performance braking system, the new model will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and will be capable of hitting a top speed of 168 mph.
We like the idea of niche automakers releasing limited-run models in the automotive market; it gives the whole entrée of choices some diversity. And it seems that in the past few months, more and more of these small-scale manufacturers have started to step forward to offer consumers an alternative to what we’re most often used to.
Melkus Sportwagen GmbH may not be the most popular carmaker in the world today, but nevertheless, the German brand still knows a thing or two about building a lightweight sports car. At the Top Marques in Monaco, Melkus will be introducing two new versions of the RS2000 sports car: the GT and GTS.
The two models are the latest iterations of the R2000 line, giving its customer base more powerful options to choose from. Both the RS2000 GT and RS2000 GTS will each come with state-of-the-art materials to go with more powerful engines.
Like we said, it’s hard to gauge the interest level on a car like this given its ‘niche’ status in the industry, but considering the way these cars are being presented, both the RS2000 GT and the RS2000 GTS could make strong impressions when they break cover in Monaco in a few days.
Details on the Melkus RS2000 GT and GTS after the jump.