Donkervoort's supercar-stomping D8 GTO JD70 will pull 2 g in the corners
Dutch brand Donkervoort's crazy, ultra-light, Audi-powered D8 GTO has more than proven itself since its 2013 debut, at one time holding a top-10 Nurburgring lap. Now, there's a special edition celebrating founder Joop Donkervoort's 70th birthday.
While final weight hasn't yet been settled upon, the company says this Lotus-Seven-inspired beast will remain under 700 kg (1,543 lb), and will rock the most powerful engine yet dropped into a Donker: a 2.5-liter, turbocharged Audi inline five making a whopping 415 horsepower and 520 Nm (383.5 lb-ft) of torque.
For reference, the current-model D8 GTO-40 weighs 678 kg (1,495 lbs), makes "380++" horsepower, and hits 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.7 seconds. Dropping the hammer in the JD70 will be quite an event, even compared with the craziness of previous Donkervoorts. And might I just mention at this point what a pleasure that name is to type and pronounce, even if it does sound like a German describing a venerial affliction.
As has been the case with previous cars, the JD70 will use a close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission, with a Bosch system in place to auto-blip and rev match on downshifts if you don't feel like doing the tap-dancing yourself. On this model, you're also able to ram the stick up a gear without letting off full throttle; the car will manage a clutchless shift for you, ensuring there's minimal interruption to the breakneck acceleration. So hang on!
The bodywork, which is 95 percent carbon fiber, has been tweaked on this model to deliver extra downforce with the addition of a redesigned nose, cycle-wing covers on the exposed wheels and a new diffuser. The company says it'll now pull a feisty 2 g of lateral acceleration in the corners as a result – bone stock with the standard tires. Like previous Donkers, the driving position places you just in front of the rear axle, with your backside so low to the ground that you'll grimace and pucker as you pass over speed bumps. And the open top, combined with those funky side exhausts, should make for a wild soundtrack to any drive.
With its insane power, light weight and "no traction control, ABS or power steering for you" philosophy, this thing can deliver a ride every bit as insane and life-affirming as things like the Ariel Atom 4, and even carry a few shopping bags in its little trunk if required.
Unfortunately, where the Ariels have typically been astonishingly affordable, Donkervoorts have tended in the other direction. The D8 GTO JD70 will start at an unforgivable €163,636.36 (aaprox US$181,000) before taxes, or just under 200K once 21-percent VAT is added. So perhaps it's for the best that the company's only planning to make 70 of them.