Wiesmann MF5 Arrives
And in grand style, too…
By Bruce McCulloch
FRANKFURT: You may recall that just a few days ago I wrote a short piece on Wiesmann’s up and coming “MF5” flagship supercar. At the time at which that was written little was known about how much the vehicle would differ from its counterpart, but the time of pondering has come to an end as Wiesmann has now released the final details of the vehicle.
So then, what shall we start with? Well, how about the “revealing” of the new car. Many, including myself, had assumed that Wiesmann was to release the MF5 at the Frankfurt Autoshow, but that turned out to be untrue. Rather than renting out a spot at Germany’s most prestige Autoshow, Wiesmann deemed it more than appropriate to rent out the bottom half of the Frankfurt’s “lighttower” on the main street of the German city. A private, more organized showing; yes, but certainly not a coincidence that they decided to reveal it in the town of Frankfurt during Autoshow week. So, PR tricks and all, let us get to the actual vehicle:
If wanting to turn heads is your thing, the new MF5 will not fail to deliver as it looks like nothing else. It’s blunt, angry, aggressive and above all else, racy. There’s little doubt in my mind that Wiesmann’s goal was to make the MF5 visually as close as possible to their successful GT race car. And I had suspected upon first glance of the vehicle that it had notably grown in size over its counterpart and indeed, it has; the MF5 is 5 cm lower, 9.6 cm wider, 8 cm longer and lastly, features modifications in width to both the front and rear track.
The changes are evident too; deeper front facia, various air-vents amongst the body and a rear end that looks like something out of a cartoon. Notable are the spoiler – made from nothing other than carbon fibre – and a redesigned undertray diffuser intended to help the MF5 keep it controlled at the amazing speeds which it’s able to achieve. And trust me, you’ll need it.
You’ll need it because as I’ve mentioned before, this car has the same 10-cylinder motor from the BMW M5 and M6. In short, that means a 12.1 compression ratio, 507bhp, 384lb-ft of torque (or 520 Newton Metres) and a wonderful redline of 8,250 rpm.
I had previously speculated on what transmission the MF5 would be using; perhaps thinking Wiesmann would offer both a manual and a sequential transmission for the vehicle – as they had done with previous vehicles. However, it would turn out that the MF5 is only available with BMW’s 7-speed sequential SMG transmission. Still, having SMG to play with in a 507bhp supercar can hardly be a vice…
One big and obvious push with the MF5’s release is Wiesmann’s business philosophy in making sure it’s road-worthy and more importantly, safe. Thus is why this vehicle boasts a whole level of features not available on previous models: “Dynamic Stability Control” (DSC), “integrated side-collision protection”, “3 point seat belts” and a whole host of other features likely to keep you alive, if not unscathed, should you slide off the road. And to back it up, all of these systems have been developed by the great conglomerate that is BMW. Not unique to Wiesmann, the specialty car manufacturer, some one-off fans might query? True, but tried and tested by one of the foremost car companies in the world, with superb engineering resources at their disposal, so you know it will work when it needs to, and that’s fine with me.
As for the interior, well, modifications are mostly vacant, but that still hasn’t stopped the small manufacturer from further improving upon the vehicle. Notably, the MF5 comes standard with driver and passenger airbags – something never available on any previous Wiesmann – as well as redesigned bucket seats with supposed “excellent lateral support”. Also worth mentioning is that these seats are made to order, and designed to fit each and every customer. Should that not be enough incentive to purchase one of these, you’ll be glad to learn that one can order special seats made from carbon fibre basing – which are of course lighter.
Suffice to say, the addition of the large 10-cylinder motor and various safety components, the MF5 has gained some 140kg over its counterparts; 1240 vs 1380kg, MF4 vs MF5 respectively. Nevertheless, 100 km/h (62 mph) is promised to take just 3.9 seconds.
So there you have it – should you have the desire; and above all else, the money to purchase something rare (just 25 are expected), powerful, fast and wacky, this is a great choice. Production is set to start in the spring time of 2008, but be prepared, starting prices commence at a base of 178,900€, and, of course, go up.
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