For many gearboxes, Germany is the largest car-producing country of all time. German automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi and BMW have been at the top of the automotive industry for decades and have built some of the most iconic European cars of all time, including the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Audi Quattro, Porsche 911, and BMW 3-Series, just to name a few. For this reason, most gearboxes can immediately recognize a German car.
As great as the German auto industry is, it’s not exempt from weird, obscure models that most gearboxes don’t remember. Many of these forgotten Germans sports cars were built by small manufacturers, but several were also built by well-known companies such as BMW and Porsche. Let’s dive in.
10 Apollo Intensa Emozione
In the mid-2000s, the Gumpert Apollo shocked the world when it debuted with a top speed of 223 mph, earning it a spot on the list of the fastest German cars ever. The Apollo was a promising car, but poor sales and internal business problems led to Gumpert’s liquidation in 2013.
Fortunately, a Hong Kong company bought Gumpert in 2016 and renamed it Apollo Automobil. The first car built by the company was the Intensa Emozione, which combined a supercar-worthy design with a mighty 780-horsepower Ferrari-sourced V12. Only 10 units were built, each selling for just over $2.5 million.
9 Isdera Imperator 108i
When Porsche engineer Eberhard Schulz learned that Mercedes-Benz had no intention of producing the CW311 concept he had developed for them, he knew his hard work should not be wasted. Schulz founded a company known as Isdera and decided to manufacture the car himself, resulting in the Imperator 108i.
The Imperator 108i stunned everyone when it debuted in 1984, thanks in large part to its unusual wedge-shaped design. With only 30 units produced in a decade, the Imperator 108i is one of the rarest German cars ever.
8 Melkus RS1000
One of the coolest things to ever come out of communist East Germany in the ’60s has to be the Melkus RS1000. This sports car had a beautiful design that rivaled anything from Italy at the time, especially with the gull-wing doors open.
Unfortunately, the RS1000 didn’t have the power to match. Equipped with a small three-cylinder engine that produced only 68 horsepower, the RS1000 was extremely slow.
7 Porsche 901
The Porsche 911 is as iconic as it gets when it comes to German sports cars. Every gear stick has at least heard of this legendary car, as it has been incredibly popular since it debuted in the mid-1960s. However, many 911 fans have no idea that it was sold as the 901 when it first launched.
However, Peugeot complained that only they had the right to use a three-digit name with a ‘0’ in the middle, so Porsche changed it to 911. Only 82 901s were made, and even Porsche struggled to get one for a long time. one in hands.
6 RUF CTR3 Clubsport
RUF Automotive is a small German car manufacturer best known for building powerful versions of Porsches. RUF’s most famous car is the CTR, which was owned by the speed record for production cars for a brief period in the 1980s.
RUF has built other great vehicles over the years including the CTR3 Clubsport. Introduced in 2012, the CTR3 Clubsport was an upgraded version of the standard CTR3, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original CTR. The CTR3 Clubsport is based on the Porsche 987 Cayman and comes with a 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine producing 681 hp.
5 Auto Union 1000 Sp
Before Audi changed its name, the four-ring brand was known as Auto Union. The company has built many great cars, but the 1000 Sp is arguably the best.
The best feature of the 1000 Sp is its beautiful design. This car is definitely one of the most beautiful sports cars of the 1950s, which is not surprising since the design was based on the 1955 Ford Thunderbird.
4 Bitter CD
In the early 1970s, former racing driver Erich Bitter founded a car manufacturing company in his name with the aim of building premium sports cars. Bitter has built several cars and the CD is arguably the best of the bunch.
Unveiled in 1969, the CD is a three-door hatchback coupe that stunned many gearboxes with its design. The CD is also a great example of the good things that happen when European design meets American power, as it was powered by a Chevrolet-sourced V8.
3 BMW 507
In the early 1950s, American luxury car importer Max Hoffman felt that BMW needed a new ambitious model that could compete with the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, so he wrote to the company and asked them to do just that. BMW agreed and in 1956 the 507 was born.
In terms of looks, the 507 was just as nice as the 300SL. It wasn’t nearly as fast, though, as it could only reach a top speed of 222 mph. Another problem with the 507 was its hefty price tag, which explains why so few were made.
2 Borgward Isabella Coupe
Before Borgward went bankrupt in the early 1960s, the company had a strong line of sedans and sports cars. The Isabella was one of Borgward’s biggest hits, especially the beautiful coupé version.
The Isabella Coupe looked great in every way, but because it was positioned as an entry-level car, it only got a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 75 horsepower on tap.
1 Lotec Sirius
Although not many people have heard of Lotec, it has been around for six decades. Lotec started out as a race car manufacturer, went on to modify Porsches and started building its own cars in 2004.
Lotec’s first production car was the Sirius, which debuted in 2004. The Sirius was built to compete with the top sports cars of the 2000s, as it featured the same 6.0-litre Mercedes-Benz V12 as the Pagani Zonda. According to Lotec, the Sirius produced over 1,000 horsepower and had a top speed of 249 mph.