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Commendatore 112i
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  Isdera Commendatore 112i
 

  Article Image gallery (18) W09112218PWJ02001 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1993
Numbers built:1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:February 11, 2021
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe hugely talented engineer Eberhard Schultz was offered a job at Porsche even before he had graduated from university. He later set up his own company to build the Mercedes-Benz V8 engined Isdera Imperator 108i supercar. The car entered production in 1983 and less than two per year were built before work was started on a replacement. Dubbed the Commendatore 112i in honour of Enzo Ferrari, it was introduced at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Commendatore featured a brand new exterior design that was much smoother than the rather angular Imperator. The bodywork was built in lightweight fibreglass reinforced plastic. The round nose of the car featured Porsche 968-sourced headlights, while the flanks featured large air-intakes. A long relatively long tail ensured that the drag figures were low enough to allow for a potential top speed of over 200 mph. In the tip of the tail, a full-width air-brake was fitted. Typical Isdera cues incorporated in the Commendatore design were the periscope rear-view mirror and gullwing doors.

Under its GRP skin, the new Isdera featured a straightforward steel spaceframe chassis. The suspension was derived from the Porsche 928. Schultz did add an active function that allowed the car to be lowered a full three inches when at speed. Mercedes-Benz was again the engine builder of choice but as indicated by the car's type name, a V12 was picked to power the Commendatore. The six-litre, dual overhead camshaft M120 produced around 400 bhp. The engine was mated to a RUF modified Porsche gearbox that had six, instead of five forward of gears.

Schultz had big plans for the Commendatore; the car's launch came at a time when the production-based GT1 class was introduced. This should allow a racing version of the new Isdera to potentially compete for outright victories at events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From an economical point of view, the car was not particularly well timed however. The Japanese financial crisis, in particular, put a spanner in the works for the small company. As a result, only one Commendatore was ever produced.

The car was not completely forgotten, as it starred in the 1997 video game Need for Speed II. Six years after it had been originally launched, the Commendatore made a reprise at Frankfurt. Now owned by a Swiss consortium, it had been mildly modified with different wheels and the periscope mirror removed. It was now powered by a 6.9-litre version of the M120 V12 that produced an impressive 611 bhp. The car was now simply dubbed the Silver Arrow and was eventually sold to a Swiss private owner.

The unique Commendatore came full circle in 2010 as it was bought back by Isdera. It was subsequently restored to the configuration it was originally shown in back in 1993.

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  Article Image gallery (18) W09112218PWJ02001 Specifications