This Is A German Supercar You Don't Remember

This is the Zender Vision 3. Hans-Albert Zender had six four-wheeled visions in the eighties. This appeared on the scene around the same time the Ferrari F40 did. It also remained a prototype.

Zender loved to experiment with fiber reinforced plastics. He started by making bucket seats, continued with his own wheel arch extensions and soon ended up in the aftermarket and tuning industry that was booming at the time in Germany. Still, like many others, he wanted to build his own car using composites.


He stepped into action, and the first show car was ready by 1983. The Vision 1S debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and this is what the press thought of it.

Two years later, he introduced the Vision 2 with a rear diffuser at the back just like the Jaguar XJ220 that came years later. This was followed by the Vision 3C roadster at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show, and the Vision 3 the following year, with a 5.6-liter V8 from Mercedes-Benz producing around 300 horsepower. That's what you see here.


For his most advanced car ever, Zender switched to Audi power in 1989 and presented the Fact4 Biturbo build using a carbon fiber chassis and a 3.6-liter turbocharged engine producing 440 horses, giving it a top speed of 195 mph. A spider version of this was the last of the Zender prototypes.

Germans aren't the greatest supercar manufacturers on the planet. Mercedes-Benz built the SLS after learning how it's done from McLaren with the SLR. Audi had to buy Lamborghini to eventually end up with a cheaper Gallardo called the R8, while BMW also went to the Italians to produce the ill-fated but glorious M1.


Still, call me crazy, but the Zender V3 sort of works...

Photo credit: retromotoring and Eddy Clio

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