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Road Test: Wiesmann GT MF5 Second Generation
Welcome back to the Wiesmann experience. After our road test in the Summer of 2010 we were amazed and stunned by the sheer driving experience of the Roadster MF5 with its V10 engine and ecstatic sound track. A super sports car with the agility of a ballerina, and a retro-styled gecko with the ability to tell you clearly what driving fun means. It asked for more, a lot more than we initialed experienced. Wiesmann immediately entered the upper levels of our wish list.
So we went to Dulmen, Germany. The city where the German sports car manufacturer has its headquarters. The most remarkable thing about the production facility is the giant Gecko, the company logo of Wiesmann, that has become part of the building. The gecko, 110 meters long and 15 meters high, is completely made from wood and inside, you will find the showroom with space for at least twenty cars, a large amount of office space and the production line.
Our ride for the morning was the brand new Wiesmann GT MF5 Second Generation. Like its predecessor the GT MF5 features all the ingredients known to Wiesmann, but due to changes within supplier and technology partner BMW’s model line-up, the Germans had to install a brand new power train. Wiesmann cars have always been based on BMW technology, like the engine and the gearbox. The first gen GT MF5 was powered by the E60 M5 V10 engine, but when this car went out of production Wiesmann had to come up with a plan. They decided, instead, to install a twin-scroll twin-turbocharged V8 engine in the front of the retro coupe. The same engine used in the X6 M and X5 M.
The top-of-the-range model now features the 4.4 liter V8 twin turbo direct injection petrol engine which provides a performance of 555hp between 5,750 and 6,250rpm (+48hp) and a torque figure of 680Nm between 1,500 and 5,650rpm (+160Nm). Both values increased with respect to its predecessor. The six-speed gearbox also comes from BMW and provides fast shift times and precise handling via the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Surprisingly, sprint times remained the same with 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. The top speed increased by 1km/h to 311. Why a surprise? Because driving the first meters in the 2nd generation MF5 provide you with an additional push and linearity in acceleration not known to the previous MF5. The upgraded coupe feels more responsive, faster and thrilling from the moment you put your foot down. Where the V10 needed to come alive, the twin-turbo package provides you with an immediate response suggesting at least an improvement of a half second on a sprint to 100km/h.
At 1,405kg, it is only 25kg heavier than its predecessor and half a ton less than the brand new F10M M5, which uses the same basic setup for its 560hp-strong twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The technical setup features a stainless steel exhaust system with twin end pipes and a Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold (CCM), which offers quick response, a linear build-up of engine power, and a broad, consistent torque curve. Stopping power is achieved by massive 374mm front and 370mm rear carbon-composite brakes.
The new Wiesmann GT MF5 has managed to the reach the league of the supercars. Where its predecessor was a maniac with the ability to constantly push you harder through corners, the new MF5 adds that additional oomph to the equation which makes you aware of its sheer potential. Not one single expectation can describe the acceleration you experience when you floor the throttle. The turbocharged V8 pulls you forward instantly, while the rear tires – fitted close to your seat – communicate the levels of grip.
This enormous traction off the line is combined with the smoothness of a decent sports car providing a kind of unexpected combo between comfort and stiffness. The aluminum double wishbone suspension with coil springs and anti roll bar at the front and aluminum double wishbone and trailing arm suspension with coil springs and anti roll bar at the back are the main ingredients in this combination.
The handling is superb, perhaps in a way a gecko sticks to a wall. Body motions are hardly noticeable and if available superbly controlled and damped. The wing and the diffuser – part of the performance package – provide plenty of down force for the rear suspension, guaranteeing excellent hold even at very high speeds. The steering is precise and direct up to a point you can create ludicrous cornering speeds without even approaching the limit. Only one small point of attention would be the steering within corners which can be a bit too light. Still when you are using your courage to reach its limits, this MF5 will reward you in every single way.
Is there a down side to the use of the V8 engine? Yes, there is! The soundtrack of the twin-turbocharged V8 is simply less amusing than the V10. People who drove the V10 will reminisce back to the high-revving masterpiece and its backfiring principles. Although, you will have an improvement in every single performance figure, the sound experience of that V10 will be sorely missed.
Like any other Wiesmann the cabin is completely handmade serving the purpose of positioning the driver deeply into the sporting seats; ready for action. The driver focused chromed dials, the hand-stitched steering wheel, bespoke trim and the newly improved LED display with speed indication are at your disposal. Same goes for the position of your feet not being in line with the steering wheel position. You just don’t care, it is part of the package.
The new GT MF5 hasn’t lost any of its driving characteristics. The retro coupe feels fantastically nimble and is dynamite to hustle down a challenging road. The change to the new turbocharged eight-cylinder engine provided an increase in performance and improved fuel consumption, but brought up a desire to the V10, a masterpiece of an engine with a backfiring characteristic fueling any petrol head’s dream.
You will surely fall in love with the GT MF5. Very few sports cars come close to its dynamic and head turning design. It sets the mood for an amplified experience and for the feel of a three-dimensional driving satisfaction. For us the sheer performance of the new MF5 will be part of our minds forever.