The RS2000 - a new two-seater mid-engined sports coupe - from family-run specialist marque Melkus will rise out of the ashes of its legendary predecessor, the RS1000.

A new sportscar from family-run specialist marque Melkus will rise out of the ashes of its legendary predecessor, the RS1000, which ceases production next year. At a special unveiling, the Melkus family presented a clay model of their new two-seater mid-engined sports coupe, dubbed the RS2000.

The new sportscar will be a re-interpretation of the Melkus philosophy, based loosely on that of the RS1000's timeless style and inheriting its predecessor's gull-wing doors. The new car however boasts a re-invigorated design language characteristic of such classic forms while not straying into the realm of retro.

"We don't want to build an overly power-orientated vehicle, instead we want our sports car to have agility at its heart," say Peter and Sepp Melkus of their new RS2000. "And that's only possible through more compact dimensions and a lightweight design."

As such, the new Melkus will be constructed from a range of weight-saving materials including aluminium, glass-reinforced plastic and carbon components in order for a gross weight of under 1000 kilos to be achieved. Corresponding with the downsizing of the new vehicle, the RS2000 is to be fitted with a lightweight four-cylinder turbo unit, producing 250 PS. A short-shifting gearbox will allow acceleration to 100 kph from standstill in under 5 seconds, going on to a top speed of 250 kph.

Performance figures such as these naturally warrant the safety features to match, with anti-lock brakes and airbags to be fitted as standard. But creature comforts are also not to be forgoed, electronic climate control and windows also being thrown into the package at no extra cost.

But above all, customers will be buying into a brand whose production figures barely extend into double figures, with only 25 examples of the Melkus RS2000 to be hand-built each year. Figures are yet to be finalised, but the aim of the project is to have the new Melkus on sale at 60,000 Euros, with the first prototype RS2000s rolling off the production 'line' at the end of 2008.

Melkus however will not simply halt their development plans at the RS2000. A racing version based on the road car will be developed, promising more aggressive styling among other winning features. The 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show will play host to this exclusive model, while a Melkus GT concept car featuring hybrid drive is presently in the works, although will not materialise in that form until 2011 at the earliest. This will too preview the direction Melkus wish to head. Stay tuned for further details.

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