Three years ago Melkus, the historic, East German race car builder, released renderings of a gullwing sports car they wanted to have ready in 2009. It always makes us happy to see the passionate guy make big plans and then get them achieved – on time even – and the Melkus RS2000 is the culmination of that achievement. Based on an Elise, it rides on a Melkus-designed aluminum double-wishbone suspension and wears a glass-fiber reinforced polyester body.
Power comes from the 1.8-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder Elise tuned up to 270 hp that shifts through a short-throw 6-speed transmission. With a curb weight of 950 kg (2,090 pounds) you can get to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Interiors can be customized as you wish, but the car comes standard with more creature comforts than you'll find in most of its competition, including the Elise. The Melkus' creation did come with a price: the original estimates were for it to cost €75,000; the actual price is €107,500. But what's a little inflation between friends.