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The blokes at Motor Authority bring us an update on the new generation of Melkus sports cars in the works, a story first reported earlier this year. Back in the days of Checkpoint Charlie, when Eastern Bloc "people's cars" were made of papier m ch and powered by tractor engines, East German car builder Heinz Melkus created the the RS1000. The plastic-bodied sportster had gullwing doors, but was powered by an agriculture-grade Wartburg three-cylinder, two-stroke engine. Though only 101 were built, the erstwhile RS1000 has a worldwide following of quirkpots. Now, descendents of Melkus are working with German design and engineering firm EDAG to create a new, lightweight version of the RS that will not draw from farm-implement technology, but rather will be powered by a modern 2.0-liter four. The group is targeting 2008 for a launch of the 25 cars it will produce, which won't have much in common with the early models, but will cost a few metric tons of cabbage and potatoes: in the $75,000 range.

New Melkus RS sports car under development [Motor Authority]

East Germany Bound and Down: Wartburg-Powered Melkus Sports Cars Set for Revival [internal]