The 2020 Wiesmann Project Gecko Will Have an M5 Heart of Gold
Wiesmann is making a comeback with a little help from the BMW M5 performance sedanby Tudor Rus, on LISTEN 04:55
A new Wiesmann is coming, fellas, and it will pack the same V-8 engine found under the hood of the current-generation BMW M5. Dubbed Project Gecko, the newcomer is a successor for the MF5 and it will draw inspiration from the car that was launched back in 2009.
It’s the second time Wiesmann has teased its incoming Project Gecko sports car - we expect that name to be dropped once it debuts, therefore we’re heavily inclined to believe that this only suggests a full reveal is not that far away down the road. So all you need is a drop of patience as we get you up to date with the freshest known details about Wiesmann’s Project Gecko.
What’s the deal with Wiesmann recently?
Wiesmann’s only been around since 1988, but in its short life, it managed to attract a lot of sympathy from gearheads around the world. Not so much from customers, but that’s a different story. The company’s activity has been shut down in May 2014 after it filed for bankruptcy in 2013, but following a short break, it restarted its business in 2016.
Coming back to present day, Wiesmann is ready to unveil a new model, one that’s powered by the same V-8 engine employed by the ongoing BMW M5.
Wiesmann let out the big news via its website but don’t expect an avalanche of juicy details, because for the time being, the carmaker is pretty tight-lipped. However, we’re told that the Project Gecko will benefit from a 50:50 weight distribution ratio and a front-mid engine layout, with power going to the rear axle through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Sounds cool, but I want to know more about the Project Gecko
For now, let’s get back to the engine bit. In U.S.-spec, the 2020 BMW M5 uses a 4.4-liter (4,395 cubic centimeters) V-8 powered by BMW’s TwinPower Turbo tech. The mill pumps out no less than 600 horsepower fully unlocked at 6,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque available in the 1,800-5,860 rpm band. Also important is the fact that the M5 is all-wheel drive, which helps it attain the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.2 seconds and then on to a top speed of 156 mph. Also worth noting is that the same 2020 BMW M5 weighs 4,370 pounds (1,982 kilograms), yet we’re willing to bet our lunch money that Wiesmann’s go-fast car will be a lot lighter than that.
|Config/No of cyls/valves||V/8/4|
|Engine technology||M TwinPower Turbo technology with cross-bank exhaust manifold, M TwinScroll TwinTurbo, indirect charge air cooling, High Precision Injection, maximum injection pressure 350 bar, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing|
|Effective capacity cc||4,395|
|Compression ratio :1||10.0|
|Horsepower||600 HP @ 5,600 – 6,700 RPM|
|Torque||553 LB-FT @ 1,800 – 5,600 RPM|
|Transmission||Eight-speed M Steptronic|
|0 to 60 mph||3.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
Now, Wiesmann says its Project Gecko can reach 60 mph from a standstill in under 3.5 seconds (remember, this is a RWD car), which means it managed to save a pretty load of weight.
We also get to know the sports car’s top speed, which is a promising 198+ mph.
Speaking of shedding some pounds off the sports car’s hips, Autocar reports that a lot of aluminum and other weight-saving materials have been used to keep the car’s mass in check. To put things into perspective, the GT MF5 tipped the scales at 3,097 pounds (1,405 kilograms), so we expect this new car to be a tad lighter. Otherwise, Wiesmann doesn’t say much in this department, but it does mention a double monocoque configuration as well as bespoke upholstery for the interior.
Other things we know as sure-shot about Wiesmann’s Project Gecko is that it will be hand-built at the automaker’s facility in Dulmen, Germany, with production scheduled to kick off in the first part of 2020. By the way, if you’re wondering about where the car’s provisory name came from, know that the company’s logo is a gecko lizard and Wiesmann has stated from day one that its cars will stick to asphalt like geckos to a wall.
Wiesmann is also a long-time loyal customer of BMW’s parts bin as far as engines are concerned. The MF5, for example, was fitted with the 5.0-liter, naturally-aspirated S85 V-10 engine which used to equip the 2005-2010 BMW M5 and M6. This choice blessed the Wiesmann MF5 with 547 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque unleashed as early as 1,500 rpm and available throughout the whole band all the way up to 5,650 rpm.
The MF5 could reach a top speed of 193 mph and accelerate from naught to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, so judging by the way things stand at the moment, whatever Project Gecko morphs into will best those performance parameters. As for price, the MF5 used to sell for around $200,000, therefore, the resulting car out of Project Gecko should, more or less, fall in line with that price tag.
Read our full review on the 2008 Wiesmann GT MF5.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.