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IMP Automobilbau - No.1 Taxicab manufacturer


#1

Hello.

I am not the greatest of car designers, at least not in Automation. My Company primarily defines itself by building excellent engines which are freely available to every car company that can afford such unnecessarily complex german engineering. However every once in a while my magnificent engineers also give birth to some truly outstanding cars as well, and this is where some of them might be presented to the world.
Unlike most german car manufacturers, IMP does not use an alphanumeric naming scheme on 95% of our designs, we just use what ever we like at a given point in time.
MP vehicles are well-engineered and well-built, at a considerable price premium obviously.

Cars will be presented randomly, in no particular order.

IMP has a proper badge now.


#2

is that the max? because i know 300+ points is possible.


#3

Not really. I was just trying a few things out and did not bother fine tuning this car, and honestly I really don’t care much about competitiveness (it appears to be quite broken anyway) at all. I just build my cars the way I personally like them.


#4

What is the best way to follow up a glamorous, powerful luxury car? A miserable tiny utility vehicle, obviously.

The year is 1946, germany’s darkest chapter has just been brought to an end by the allied forces, and rebuilding the utterly destroyed country would prove difficult to say the least. IMPs old CEO, Hermann Pandel had fled to Switzerland in 1941 once he came to the conclusion that a government contract for 50.000 heavy trucks was not worth contributing to the death of millions of people. IMPs headquarter and main manufacturing plant in Düsseldorf were completely destroyed by the allied bombings. Only the small Grevenbroich plant which used to manufacture three-wheeled utility vehicles comparable to the Goliath Blitzkarren and Tempo Hanseat had survived in a state which enabled it to resume production of motor vehicles relatively quickly. Fortunately however the allied occupying forces did not request what was left of the tooling to be shipped abroad as reparations. The new old CEO who had just returned from the safe island of Switzerland had a monumental task in front of him, if he wanted his and his fathers lifetime achievement to survive and not be forgotten in obscurity. Thus, in a desperate attempt to save what they had built up, he moved the surviving tooling to Grevenbroich, and set up a new engine assembly line. It was fairly obvious to him that his dream of his own automobile had to be postponed yet again, and he decided it would be wisest if IMP recovered doing what it could do best: Simple and reliable utility vehicles. On March 4th, 1946, the first of the old IMP three wheeled utility carts ran off the production line. However when Hermann became a witness of one of his vehicles rolling over due to its singular front wheel just two weeks later, heavily injuring its driver, he immediately sent his engineers to work on revising the chassis to accomodate a fourth wheel for greatly improved stability and safety. During the design process, the engineers realized that this would increase weight massively and require a more powerful engine. Since IMP did not have enough funds to develop a new engine, they combined two of the three-wheelers 700cc 2cyl four stroke engines to create a new 1400cc 4cyl. The additional power also allowed the engineers to increase the payload capacity of the vehicle. Retooling the plant went smoothly, and on June 23rd, 1946, the first “LN-K46” ran off the assembly line.



It was neither fast, nor comfortable, but the new frankenstein 4cyl engine was immensely powerful and robust for its time, with its 35hp and 95Nm enabling it to safely carry loads of much greater weight than its competitors, which were usually powered by tiny 10hp two stroke engines. It quickly filled a niche in the market and became an astounding success, so much so, that people began calling it simply “Esel” (=Mule). Once it had stabilized the company, the engineers went back to the drawing board to capitalize on the LN-K46s versatility. In december of 1946 two new “Esel” were launched, a Van as well as a five seater Station Wagon:


Until 1952, nearly 83.000 LN-K46 were built and its capability and durability played no small part in cleaning up Hitlers dust. Wherever you went in late 1940s Germany, you could probably see an “Esel” working as hard as it could. The LN-K46 was the car that enabled IMP to recover from the massive hit it endured during the war, but it also meant a big shift in the company’s direction. While the company proved to be excellent at building trucks and engines before the war, automobiles were few, expensive and far inbetween. With the truck plant being completely destroyed, the LN-K46 “Esel” was the first true mass-produced automobile of IMP, and it would become a formidable foundation on which the company could expand and finally become a true car manufacturer.


#5

Once LN-K46 was up and rolling and some mild profits had been earned, IMP turned its attention to its ancient truck range. Even though people in post-war europe couldn’t care less about shiny new cars, all they needed was something that ran on dirt until it reached the end of its usefulness, IMP at least wanted to give potential customers the illusion of something new and special (what the advertising didn’t tell them was that the tooling for the body panels had been destroyed in the bombings and something simpler to produce was needed). So they did what the Morris Marina did 25 years later: Take an ancient vehicle (in this case a pick-up truck built from 1935-1944) and give it a vaguely modern-ish body to fool the customers. Since steel was scarce, they had to rely on something cheaper and more available, which is why IMP hired a bunch of local carpenters to cobble together a wooden frame for the body which was made largely from vinyl coated wool for cheapness, flexibility and lightness. Unfortunately this wasn’t an ideal material to make chassis of, so those were made from leftovers and recycled Tiger tanks. Once that problem was sorted they were faced with an even bigger one: The only engine they had was the 1400cc 4cyl from the MUCH smaller K46, and the production lines for the larger engines had been recycled for chassis. It seemed then that the project was doomed.
But then, one day, one of the workers who were removing the rubble of the old plant stumbled upon a relatively undamaged barn a couple hundred meters away from the plant. When a few managers were sent to investigate, they found it was full of dusty machines that appeared to have once been part of an engine assembly line. Instantly the machines were dusted off and shipped to Grevenbroich, even though nobody knew what engine they were actually used for. Much to their relief it was a prehistoric 4.5L side-valve straight six designed shortly after WW1 and discontinued in the early 1930s. The engine could barely muster 90hp, but it had some usable torque and it fit in the new truck, and that was more than enough. On January 28th 1947, the first LN-SG as they called it left the factory.




The truck was awful. Fuel economy was terrible, the recycled materials had extremely poor quality, the tooling for the engines hadn’t been used since 1933 and were in terrible condition. The entire thing began desintegrating after about three weeks. But it was something, so all of the 1500 or so vehicles IMP managed to make in a year worked extremely hard, and due to its lack of longetivity only half a dozen survived into the 1950s. The K46 could only keep IMP afloat for so long, they needed something new, something that could be produced cheaply, something that made a profit in the long run.


#6

Since the K46 actually was vaguely decent, not one thought was given to the inconvenience of designing something new. IMP did what everyone would do and bolted a slightly odd-looking body onto a K46 frame, resulting in the creatively named 1948 IMP 1.




While hideous, it did manage to sell in surprising numbers. The existing 1.4L engine was debored and destroked, resulting in a 1.1L engine with 27hp. It was far from much, but more than the Volkswagen Type 1, yet some people still complained they wanted to experience the full-fat 1.4 with its mindbending 35hp. IMP obliged and the Deluxe model with a fancy chrome grille was born.
At last, IMP had a range with fairly stable sales, but they wanted more. A lot more. IMP did not want to compete with Volkswagen, it wanted to face Mercedes-Benz again, as they had done before the war. Thankfully a few witty managers managed to secure some investors from the allied occupants, mainly from the unscathed american industry. Filled to the brim with new hope (and money), IMP went back to work…


#7

Once IMP had enough funding, they immediately began to work on a radical departure from the cheap and utilitarian K46 and IMP 1. With their sights aimed high at the luxury market, they spent everything on developing a large, comfortable and expensive sedan. Most of the budget went into a brand new six-cylinder engine and a monocoque chassis, and since the entire budget came from america, it was decided to do the decent thing and pay homage to the land of the free with the design. Everything went well and surprisingly quickly, except for the new engine, which repeatedly ran into teething problems that the IMP leadership insisted on solving before the car went into production. The backers on the other hand wanted to see profits quickly, so a deal was made with one of the backers to ship a 2.4L Inline four stationary engine to germany, which was then modified by IMP using some elements of the new straight six. The result called the IMP 2 appeared near the end of 1950:




It’s sleek, aerodynamic bodywork was heavily inspired by the Oldsmobile 98 one of the american investors overseeing the development process drove around in. The new monocoque chassis was immensely rigid and quiet, however the still relatively small factory could not build them to the highest of quality standards, and the brand, still associated with trucks and the eye-sore IMP 1, kept many potential customers away, who instead went with the tried and tested and bought a Mercedes 220 instead, which offered identical performance with much better quality and a smooth Inline six. The development of the new A-Type straight six meanwhile kept dragging on until summer of 1952. That year, the IMP 2 received a minor facelift as well as a much smoother and more powerful 3.2L engine, as well as some significant refinements to over 130 parts. Even though the car was not to become a sales hit, in many ways it layed the foundation for future successes. From this point onwards, all new IMP vehicles with the exception of utility vehicles were unibody, coil springs on all four wheels became standard, and the elongated development of the A-type engine was to pay off, as its two main variants, an OHV Pushrod version for Trucks and a more powerful OHC for passenger cars and all their derivatives would stay in production well into the 1990s.


#8

I love the lights placement and how they fit in IMP2.


#10

Nice cars!

The market system in the earlier eras seems to be pretty funky. One potential issue I see is its very easy to go above and beyond the tech of the age. Multi-valve engines were really only a racing thing in the 40s-50s-60s, but you can put them in your production vehicle no problem. Plenty of performance vehicles opted for swing axles in the rear and double wishbones in the front instead of double wishbones all around; in fact, I have yet to come across any suspension set up in the 40s-50s fancier than double wishbone front + swing axle rear. The Mercedes 300 SL, Aston Martin DB4, and Aston DB4 GT, the fastest production cars of the 50s, used either double wishbone front + live axle rear or double wishbone front + swing axle rear. Even with some modest quality slider use you can end up beating Formula 1 times in the 50s by accident XD. Without any perspective on what cars of the day used it’s pretty easy to build an absolute speed demon thinking you are just building a normal car.


#11

Most of the time I try to build my cars as realistically as possible, while keeping a certain degree of progressiveness. As a consequence all my engines until ~1982 have two-valve cylinder heads, most of them SOHC except for the earlier ones. While multi-valve heads were somewhat common in luxury cars of the 1930s, particularly Bugatti and Duesenberg due to their racing heritage, it wasn’t until the 1973 Triumph Dolomite Sprint that multi-valve became common in mass-produced cars. As for suspensions, I know that the 1953 AC Ace used double wishbones front and rear, albeit with transverse leaf springs. Lancia, Fiat and Renault were among the first to use semi trailing arms in the rear, with MacPherson struts appearing around the same time (1950-1955). I usually use such “pioneer” cars as guidelines for when to start using those technologies.
In the end it is my own company, I decide on my brand philosophy, for example I put +5 Quality by default on the bottom end, valvetrain and fuel system of ALL engines.


#12

[quote=“Awildgermanappears”]Most of the time I try to build my cars as realistically as possible, while keeping a certain degree of progressiveness. As a consequence all my engines until ~1982 have two-valve cylinder heads, most of them SOHC except for the earlier ones. While multi-valve heads were somewhat common in luxury cars of the 1930s, particularly Bugatti and Duesenberg due to their racing heritage, it wasn’t until the 1973 Triumph Dolomite Sprint that multi-valve became common in mass-produced cars. As for suspensions, I know that the 1953 AC Ace used double wishbones front and rear, albeit with transverse leaf springs. Lancia, Fiat and Renault were among the first to use semi trailing arms in the rear, with MacPherson struts appearing around the same time (1950-1955). I usually use such “pioneer” cars as guidelines for when to start using those technologies.
In the end it is my own company, I decide on my brand philosophy, for example I put +5 Quality by default on the bottom end, valvetrain and fuel system of ALL engines.[/quote]

After reading your sig, I figured your brand would be at least a little ahead of the times XD. The ability to use unusual technologies for the time isn’t necessarily a draw back for this game. It gives us the opportunity to be a little more creative with our brands, but the market system is already pretty easy to dominate in the 50s even with tech more primitive than the top end road cars of the day. I still post my car’s market ratings in my thread and I use them to shape the story a little, but I agree with your decision to not pay them any real mind.


#13

As the 1950s approached their mid-point, the large IMP 2 and IMP L6 were starting to establish themselves in the small but competitive luxury car segment, and the cheap IMP 1 continued to earn money for future investments. The first of these investments was a new assembly line that allowed for much larger production numbers, since the factory only managed to produce a total of 2313 cars for 1953 due to the mostly hand-built cars. With the new production line, the factory could increase its maximum output from 8 to 35 cars per day. It was clear to IMP management that none of the existing cars were very well suited to mass-production, so said assembly line was specifically designed for a completely new type of car.
In 1952, IMPs CEO bought an Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlina since he could not afford one of the large IMP cars and found out that the IMP 1 was to small for his family and unsuited for a man of his position. Impressed with its level of technology and performance as well as an eye on the sales successes of the Opel Olympia Rekord and the Ford 12M he concluded that a sporty medium-sized sedan was the perfect car to fill the gap between the big battleships and the small, cheap family car. Thus, in 1953 work on a successor to the aging IMP 1 began.
Since the IMP 1 was so old (it was launched in 1948 after all), and based on a truck chassis itself derived from a three-wheeled utility cart from the 1930s, there was no way that IMP were to reuse any IMP 1 components in the new thing, making the new car a legitimate clean sheet development. Such a thing is obviously difficult to pull off for a mildly struggling car manufacturer, which meant management and engineers had to put considerably more effort into persuading IMPs american investors to finance the whole affair. However once again through blind luck the engineers were able to convince the investors that there was a lucrative niche waiting to be filled by “Projekt M1”. Keeping with IMPs aspiration to be a technological front runner the car used a monocoque chassis with double wishbone front suspension and a live rear axle with coil springs instead of the more widely used leaf springs. There was also the need for a new engine, which the engineers dealt with by using most of the A-Types construction features in a much more compact package, resulting in the 4cyl OHV B-Type engine with a maximum capacity of about 1.8L.
In the meantime IMP had assembled a new dedicated design team to give IMP vehicles a distinctive identity from now on, which came up with a very minimalistic design with very complex (and costly) angular taillights. In the interest of safety the passenger cell was exceptionally rigid for the time, unfortunately all this effort was consuming the budget rapidly, which meant in order to leave some money over for a marketing campaign, something IMP had not done before, a two-door sedan was the only bodystyle available. One of the less costly issues was the need for a new name. IMP wanted the name to embrace their germanic engineering prowess and it was decided to use the name “Teuton” for the new car. The IMP Teuton was finally revealed at the 37th IAA in Frankfurt/Main in the autumn of 1955.




At launch, two engines were available, a 1.3L with 55hp and a 1.5L with 65hp. What IMP could not forsee was that someone else also had the idea to sell a sporty and stylish family sedan to the masses, and much to the annoyance of IMPs investors Alfa Romeo had launched the 1.3L DOHC Giulietta and Borgward had launched their 1.5L Isabella in 1954. To rub salt into the wounds, the same day the Teuton got its big reveal Borgward presented the high compression, 75hp Isabella TS. The Teutons taillights were not enough to compete with the appeal of sheer numerical superiority and the launch ended up being a bit of a disappointment. However things got better from that point onward as sales almost met expectations and IMPs sales figures for the 1956 model year doubled to over 6800 cars thanks to the new Teuton. Things were to improve further as IMP added a simplified 45hp economy model and a 1.8L “Touring Sport” model with 75hp and a characteristic, but useless bulge on the bonnet to the range. Soon, once reports about the Teutons “above average” long term reliability were released and IMP lowered the price a bit for 1957, the sales went through the roof and the factory was running nearly at full capacity. The Teuton managed to sell 10846 units in 1957, making up 90% of IMPs total sales. It seemed then that the car was a thriving success. However the development of the L12 halo car (already featured) had taken its toll and nearly bankrupted IMP once again, which meant there would not be a completely new car by IMP for quite some time…

Despite this, IMP kept updating its existing cars, starting with a reskin of the oldest car in the line-up…


#14

I like the slanted oval lights. They’re pretty weird but looks so cool and different.


#15

It is not easy to make a car distinctive when the body dictates so many things.


#16

I am currently not in the mood to continue my company development chronologically, so here is something more… different?

During the late 1980s, IMP decided that their cars were lacking a key element that differentiated them from everybody else. During the 1970s and 1980s the cars had become somewhat stale and lacking the progressive and/or quirky engineering that made IMP stand out during the 1950s and 1960s. To change that IMP canceled all its motorsport activites and invested over $850 million (in todays money) and their best engineers in the “Project LF”, which should not only differentiate IMP from other car makers, but also combine the advantages of RWD and FWD in a special chassis. Project LF eventually resulted in two modular platforms for small and mid sized cars which hit the market during the second half of the 1990s…


(This is a teaser of sorts)


#18

Chill mates, its just a concept and hardly as extreme as certain others. Enter the 2009 IMR Magnus Sport Concept.
i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p549/MightyMultipla/Automation%20Stuff/Magnus%20Sport%20%20-%20Concept-1_zpsa1x2ujsf.png
The premise: Due to fuel prices hitting all time highs, many people were asking if sportscars were actually politically correct in this day and age. IMRs answer was yes. You just had to make them smaller, lighter and more economical. IMR therefore went to prove their theory, and developed a compact high-tech sports car not too different from a Lotus Exige. It used many materials and techniques from aircraft manufacturing and motorsports, with an all-composite construction, a carefully engineered body with high levels of downforce and a low drag coefficient as well as an experimental 1.5L Twin-Turbo four cylinder engine with 295hp.
i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p549/MightyMultipla/Automation%20Stuff/Magnus%20Sport%20%20-%20Concept-4_zpsezy6sup6.png
Sending the power to the rear wheels was the transmission from some diesel hatchback. The suspension and brakes meanwhile were adapted from the IMR P500 open-wheel race cars but with more robust shock absorbers and adjusted to the increased weight so it wasn’t completely undriveable.
i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p549/MightyMultipla/Automation%20Stuff/Magnus%20Sport%20%20-%20Concept-2_zps3tuk4hjc.png
The result weighed just 880kg, which they achieved by NOT giving it functional infotainment and safety equipment, could get from 0-60 in just 3.3sec and could reach 175mph, while returning 40mpg in the NEDC. If it were built in this form however it’d cost over $700,000. It was in the truest sense of the word a proof of concept vehicle nowhere near a production ready state.
i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p549/MightyMultipla/Automation%20Stuff/Magnus%20Sport%20%20-%20Concept-3_zpstnple7a1.png


#19

Well those headlights certainly look good!


#20

What’s the driveability rating on one of those? That engine probably runs only in foot to the floor mode, like an on-off button. Should be tricky


#21

It reaches full boost at 3900rpm, quite high indeed but it has a redline of 9000rpm which widens the powerband quite a bit. It’s an experimental high performance engine after all. To be honest I was surprised it gets that kind of MPG despite the engine having horrible specific consumption at cruise RPM. Driveablity rating is 32 btw with a slightly oversteery suspension setup.


#22

Sometimes simplicity is the key.