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The German company Zender has made a name for itself as a supplier to the car industry. Initially, back in the 70's, the company supplied spoilers, wheel arch extensions and seat buckets made from plastics. Today, however, the company develops and manufactures complete system components and even produces special models and limited editions.
It also produces a concept car every two years. Generally speaking, this car is ready to drive, although it always remains a one-off. Its principle objective is to highlight the company's expertise, although the boost this gives to motivation of the staff who have the privilege of producing such a vehicle in a small team cannot be overlooked.
At this year's IAA motor show, Zender presented a dazzling roadster, which is actually far too great a shame to end up in the factory museum. The Straight 8 pays full credit to its name. It is a car that won't please everyone.
The Zender Straight 8 has an angular, straight-contoured appearance. Even from a distance the car signals that it is a sports car with rough edges. Although the in-house designers have not dispensed with well-proportioned curves, they have clearly given preference to straight lines in all their shapes and sizes. Triangles and squares can be found everywhere on the body. For example, on the front air inlets, the solid roll-over bars, the transition between the front wings and the A-pillar and the door handles.
By contrast, the interior is particularly rounded, with traditional rounded instruments sometimes being arranged next to each other and at other times above one another. The lower section of the rev counter also incorporates a round clock. The instrument panel arranged in the centre of the dashboard is gently rounded towards the driver. It even slightly overlaps the rounded instrument panel, which holds the car radio along with two rotary switches.
The lighting presents itself as a cross between both elements of style. At the rear, rounded lighting units are arranged beneath square clear glass covers. At the front, the Straight 8 incorporates round high-intensity headlights beneath a square clear glass mantle. The indicators are positioned below these in the form of a square acrylic glass plate. Depending on the angle it is viewed from, the Straight 8 appears to change colour. This is due to the paint developed by Zender and ICI Autocolor. The shade illustrated here is called 'vert soleil'. Specially coated elements create the effect of changing colour.
Zender does not regard itself as a car manufacturer, but as a supplier to the car industry. In designing the Straight 8, the company from M?lheim-K?rlich was aiming to show off its expertise in system components. This philosophy also entails acknowledging the abilities of others, in this case, the skill of the Munich car manufacturers at building engines. It is for this reason that Zender opted for the unit (now superseded) from the M-Roadster produced by BMW.
Engine: BMW six-cylinder in-line engine
Cubic capacity: 3,2 litre
Power: 321 bhp
Transmission: Fully synchronised five-speed gearbox
Drive: rear axle
Length: 4020 mm
Width: 1850 mm
Height: 1250 mm
Weight: 1350 kg
0-60 mph: 5,3 sec.
Chassis: self-supporting body on adapted suspension from the BMW M-Roadster
Body: open two-seater made from fibre-composite materials
Price: single item, not for sale
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