Zender Vision 1S

It's been a long week, and so I thought it'd be nice to look at photos of an early '80s supercar before the day is through. 

I think that the desire to create something unique is buried within all of us, and whether it's a desire to write a book, design a supercar, or landscape the front yard to your taste, this desire helps us to do great work.

So for tuning part and alloy wheel manufacturer Zender GmbH, I can imagine it was quite the shock that it survived the challenge of building its own supercar, the Vision 1, and several one-offs after it. Zender thrived in the '80s and '90s, only to close up in 2008 as the business was too difficult to maintain.

Usually, making something like the Vision 1 as an independent entity is a recipe for certain financial ruin, but Zender sold a lot of (mostly) Volkswagen and Audi tuning parts in those days. But how to get the word out and sell more tuning parts? 

In 1983, you could put up tents at events, place ads in magazines, make a commercial, or go race. That's pretty much it—forget seeing Zender on the Internet, in video games, or on YouTube. I think we take for granted the near-instant spread of information we enjoy now, and the minor miracle that enthusiasts would take care to preserve old videos, brochures, road tests, and other materials for our mutual benefit now.

Anyway, in 1983, if you really wanted to make an impact, only a magazine cover would do. I'm not saying this was the reason for developing the Vision 1, but earning press was an important part of the project.

The Frankfurt Motor Show in 1983 saw Zender unveil its first full vehicle, the Vision 1. Based around an Audi Quattro, at first look it has a sort of Lister-ness (or Camaro-with-body-kit-ness) about it. Maybe that's because of the long hood and sleek-but-chunky shape. Or maybe it was because as a pumped-up Quattro, it had a 2,144-cc 5-cylinder engine with 300 hosepower and a top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph).

It's not clear if those specs are for the Vision 1 or, as is reported elsewhere, as the Vision 1S.* 

It's also not clear what ultimately happened to the car, which would be nice to find out. But for now, let's take a moment to appreciate this…well…vision.

* Please leave a comment if you have more information!