Before we would get into the visible design similarities between a 1989 clay model and the 2019 McLaren Speedtail, let's dig into the encyclopedia of Euro-exotica for a brief moment:
When it comes to the works of German supercar pioneer Eberhard Schulz, most enthusiasts are familiar with Isdera Imperator 108i from the eighties.
But by the time the 30th (and final) Imperator left the town of Leonberg for Japan in 1993, Schulz had another Mercedes-powered concept ready for the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Packing a 6.0 V12 in the middle of a space frame, the double-gullwinged Isdera Commendatore 112i was named in honor of Enzo Ferrari, and promised a 212 mph thrill using 420 horsepower and 522 pound feet of torque.
Isdera claimed it would need six-months to build one, but went bankrupt soon after. With a group of , six years went by between the show car and the first completed prototype. However, the fact that the car was still in development couldn't stop Electronic Arts from making the Isdera Commendatore 112i the star of its 1997 video game, Need for Speed II.
After reportedly spending four million euros on the model, Isdera launched its new car as the 1999 Silver Arrow C112i. At the age of 63, Swiss billionaire Albert Klöti payed over half a million to get it, claiming he made all that money printing soda cans. His silver C112i came with a Mercedes V12, as well as Porsche's gearbox, suspension, brakes and headlights. Eberhard Schulz has worked for both companies before setting up Ingenieurbüro für Styling, Design und Racing, aka Isdera.
Albert Klöti kept his car until 2005, after which it went to a private collection. It popped up with on the clock, and remains .
Following McLaren's grand unveil, some of that the new Speedtail looks a lot like Eberhard Schulz's 1993 dream. McLaren Design Director Rob Melville would certainly argue with that, but let's look at some stats regarding this mid-engined, teardrop shaped, high-speed pair:
Is it long?
McLaren Speedtail: 16.9 feet
Isdera Commendatore: 15.16 feet
Can it drop?
McLaren Speedtail: Yes, suspension is active, will drop ride height by 1.4 inches.
Isdera Commendatore: Yes, suspension is active, will drop ride height by up to 3 inches.
Rear wing situation?
McLaren has gone crazy, using flexible carbon fiber for a seamless rear:
Isdera went speed-sensitive as well, similar to how the McLaren F1 did:
McLaren Speedtail: retractable cameras.
Isdera Silver Arrow C112i: all external, but only on the prototype.
McLaren Speedtail: 106 sold in advance, only legal under the Show or Display law in the U.S.
Isdera Silver Arrow C112i: One sold in 1999.
Is it faster than a Koenigsegg Agera RS?
McLaren Speedtail: No.
Isdera Silver Arrow C112i: No.
Well, there you have it.