If you never heard of this supercar from 1993 don’t worry as most folks never heard of it either. The Commendatore is the final product of ex-Porsche designer Eberhard Schulz and his two sons. It was completed as a pre-production prototype which was to be followed by a limited series with a unit cost of just over $450 000 USD. Unfortunately, before any production Commendatores were made, Isdera went bankrupt and the remainder of the company was sold to various Swiss interests. This unfortunate event created the one and only Commendatore 112i of it’s kind. The good thing is that it was eventually finished as a completely drivable and roadworthy machine.
Now, to get into the events that lead to the creation of this car, during the late sixties, Eberhard Schulz was responsible for overseeing a spectacular series of Mercedes-Benz prototypes that started with the C111 Concept (shown below). These mid-engine projects were going to be a true successor to the 300SL and were similarly produced at great costs to introduce new technologies and styling. Unfortunatelyafter several different revisions of the C111 appeared, including some rotary engine versions, Mercedes-Benz decided to halt production. This cancellation prompted Schulz to start Isdera and, with cooperation from Mercedes, he continued the project to completion. By 1984, Schulz was selling his roadworthy version called the Imperator 108i of which 30 cars were made.
Designer Schulz then decided to take his concept to the next level with the Commendatore. Like the Mercedes-Benz project cars, the Commendatore was packed with new technology which scared off many investors. So, in order to make things happen, Schulz decided to spend close to four million euros on his own.
Most of the money went into advanced systems such an active rear airbrake designed to deploy under braking and an automatically adjustable ride height. Furthermore, the car was based around largest Mercedes V12 available at the time and it was supported by a complex tubular space frame.
Despite being driven by Mercedes-Benz mechanics, the Commendatore lends many styling traits from Porsches of the past. Its long rear overhang is reminiscent of the long tail Porsche 917 and front lights are straight from the Porsche 968.
Now for the meat and potatoes about this supercar……..
The engine, as mentioned, is a Mercedes V12 that had 4 valves per cylinder and a cubic inch displacement of around 365. This motor produced almost 410 horsepower at 5200 RPM while also having around 427 foot pounds of torque to get it moving quickly. So, what does this all come down to? Well, this one of a kind concept could go from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.7 seconds and top out with a speed of just over 205 MPH.
While the looks of this car took a while to grow on me, especially the fact that there are 4 gull wing doors (2 passenger doors and 2 engine bay doors), I would have loved the opportunity to take this machine out on the track and thrash it around to see how it could take it. It is unfortunate that it’s only claim to fame was being featured in the video game Need for Speed II.
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