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Isdera AG
Founded1982; 41 years ago (1982) in Leonberg, West Germany
FounderEberhard Schulz
Key people
Stefan Peters (director)[1]
Automotive design
ServicesDesign solutions, vehicle integration, and small series production

Isdera AG or Ingenieurbüro für Styling, Design und Racing (English: Engineering Company for Styling, Design and Racing) is a privately run German specialty automaker and design service provider based in Saarwellingen, with a design studio in Munich and a design subsidiary in Shanghai, China. The company was founded and formerly based in Leonberg, Germany. Each high-performance sports car is hand-built by a small team of craftsmen, and the only way to purchase a brand new Isdera was to call the CEO directly. Each vehicle is custom built for its original buyer, and a waiting period of twelve months is to be expected.

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Eberhard Schulz in order to seek a job at one of the automotive companies of Germany built his own car in the garage of his home in 1969 called the Erator GTE. He drove the car to Porsche's and Mercedes-Benz's headquarters and was subsequently offered a job at Porsche in the design department in 1970.[2] In 1978, Schultz left Porsche and joined the b&b company where he would go on to design the Mercedes-Benz CW311 concept which was touted as the successor to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The concept was built and promoted by b&b and had Mercedes badging after approval from the manufacturer.[3]

Isdera was founded in 1982 in Leonberg, Germany with the intent to put the CW311 into production after a deal with Mercedes-Benz. Its first car, called the Spyder which was an open top sports car based on the CW311, was presented in the same year. The Spyder was powered by a modified Mercedes-Benz Inline-4 engine generating 185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp). A new variant having an uprated 3.0-litre Inline-6 engine was introduced in 1987. The Spyder was renamed as the Spyder 033i and the Spyder 036i to indicate the difference between the offered engines and the use of electronic fuel injection in the engines (with the "i" designation).[4]

The CW311 would finally see production in 1984 as the Imperator 108i.[5] The Imperator 108i was offered with a choice of Mercedes-Benz V8 engines having different displacements, ranging from 5.0-litres to 6.0-litres. Some engines were also tuned by AMG. The car received a facelift in 1991 which added changes in ventilation to improve cooling, some visual changes and changes to the exhaust system to pass stringent safety tests. A total of 30 Imperator 108is would be made before production ended in 1993.

In 1993, Isdera designed the Commendatore 112i, which was to be a successor to the Imperator 108i. It had many advanced and unique features at the time such as two sets of gull-wing doors, a velocity-sensitive electronic chassis that lowers the car at high speeds, and an automatic air brake. The Commendatore 112i could accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h in 4.0 seconds, and had a top speed of 342 km/h (213 mph). The car had a mid-mounted Mercedes-Benz 6.0 L V12 engine generating 408 PS (300 kW; 402 hp) and a 6-speed manual transmission. The car weighed 1,450 kg (3,197 lb). The 112i was featured in the 1997 video game Need for Speed II.

Isdera planned a limited production run of the Commendatore 112i like its predecessor and quoted that each car would take six months to complete. The car was not functional when it was introduced. The development of the car reportedly cost a total of €4,000,000. This combined with the ongoing economic recession in South Asia, particularly the bursting of Japan's bubble economy, pushed the company into bankruptcy shortly after the car's introduction as the major investments came from Japan. The company was then bought by Swiss investors under whom Schultz completed the car in order to make it driveable on the road.[2]

In 1999, the Commendatore 112i was updated and renamed to "Silver Arrow C112i" by the new management. On the exterior, the updated car had conventional side-view mirrors and had silver five-spoke Mercedes-Benz alloy wheels instead of the gold BBS units. The engine was a 6.9-litre Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 unit, which generated a total of 455 kW (619 PS; 610 hp). Interestingly, there was no Isdera badging on the car and it had Mercedes-Benz badging instead. The Silver Arrow C112i was unveiled at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show.[6]

The Silver Arrow was bought by a Swiss businessman Albert Klöti at a price of €1,500,000 in 2000. Albert kept the car for 5 years after offering it on eBay for sale in October 2005 for US$3,000,000. The car failed to sell at the auction.[7]

In 2006, Isdera introduced the Autobahnkurier AK116i, a retro-styled vehicle based on the Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class and powered by two Mercedes-Benz V8 engines – one for each axle – from the W126 series 500 SE. The resulting powerplant is a 10-litre unit rated at 600 PS (441 kW; 592 hp) and 900 N⋅m (664 lb⋅ft) of torque. The top speed was limit to 242 km/h (150 mph) due to excessive fuel consumption of the massive engine over speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph). The design which resembled a touring car from the 1930s, was inspired from the Bugatti Royale and the one-off 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier. The car featured a full leather interior with creature-comforts and a marble dashboard.[8][9]

In 2016, Isdera bought back the Silver Arrow C112i from Albert Klöti, restored the car back to its original form and name and made appearances at motor shows. Subsequently, on 13 February 2021, the Isdera Commendatore 112i was sold at auction at Sotheby's France in Paris for 1,113,125.[10]

In 2017, Isdera entered into a partnership with a Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motors to design and produce electric cars. The 2018 Isdera Commendatore GT is the first vehicle developed as a result of this partnership and was unveiled at the Auto China 2018. Like preceding Isdera automobiles, the GT also employs gull-wing doors.[11][12]



See also


  1. ^ "Legal Notice". Isdera (in German). Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  2. ^ a b Potts, Greg (2021-02-01). "You can now own the world's only Isdera Commendatore 112i". Top Gear. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  3. ^ "The Nineties have called, they want their Isdera Commendatore 112i back". Simon de Burton. Classic Driver. 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2022-06-06.
  4. ^ Schröder, Max. "Isdera – The Unknown Company". Car Throttle. Retrieved 2022-06-06.
  5. ^ "The Isdera Imperator 108i is a Mercedes-Benz Wedge From The Future". Blake Z. Rong. Road&Track. 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  6. ^ "1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i; 1999 Isdera Silver Arrow C112i;". FanMercedesBenz. 1 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2020-05-09.
  7. ^ "1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i RM Sotheby's". Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  8. ^ Grigelevičius, Aivaras. "Isdera Autobahnkurier 116i: A Behemoth With a 16-Cylinder Engine". Retrieved 2022-05-06.
  9. ^ Spencer, Roy (2014-03-27). "ISDERA AUTOBAHNKURIER 116I: 16 CYLINDER RARITY". MercedesHeritage. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  10. ^ "1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i | Paris 2021". RM Sotheby's. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
  11. ^ "Isdera Commendatore GT", Isdera official website, 13, April 2021
  12. ^ "Isdera teams up with China's WM on EVs". Automotive News Europe. 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2022-06-06.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 January 2023, at 15:26
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