It has been a while since we last heard from the folks over at Donkervoort, but the Dutch automaker is still alive and well, and has unveiled yet another iteration of its long running but still potent D8 track car the D8 GTO-RS.
Formally making its way to Donkervoort dealers this summer, the company claims that the new model is the ultimate D8 GTO as it is “meaner, more extreme, and slightly larger in size” than the standard D8. The car also features a revised front grille and all new aerodynamic pieces to make it move through the air more efficiently. The interior of the RS continues the recent trend towards adding a bit more comfort to the overall driving experience thanks to supple leather sport seats that promises to provide buyers a balanced blend of comfort and support as well as leather trim for the dashboard and door panels. However, the RS has not forgotten its focus as an all out track machine, and also includes carbon fiber trim, and Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, as well as a driver centric layout that puts all controls and crucial functions within easy reach and view of the driver.
Performance for the RS comes from the familiar 2.5 liter Audi sourced five cylinder engine that also sees duty in other D8’s. However, Donkervoort engineers have added an all new engine management that was created with assistance from the folks at Bosch. Donkervoort did not release formal performance statistics, but stated that drivers will notice better acceleration as well as increased driving comfort (AKA more horsepower and possibly better fuel economy.) The company also revealed that the collaboration with Bosch also led to the development of several other RS exclusive features including launch control, as well as a double clutch function for the transmission.
The D8 in all of its various guises has always been known for its handling prowess, and the RS aims to continue this reputation thanks to an all new suspension system as well as a wider track that promises to improve grip especially at high vehicle speeds. Look for the RS to also benefit from a crash diet that sheds precious pounds to extract every ounce of acceleration possible from the car which would help it use its new-found abilities to their full potential.
Production will be limited to 40 copies with each one starting at €151,173 ($173,826.) This is a pretty lofty figure, but that hasn’t discouraged potential buyers from signing on the dotted line with 21 of the cars already being pre-ordered.
In a unique move, Donkervoort the tiny Dutch supercar company known for its track oriented back to basics D8 GTO coupe showcased the model’s more comfort oriented side with the unveiling of the limited edition D8 GTO 1000 Miglia.
Unlike the track oriented standard model, the 1000 Miglia variant was designed to be more of a long distance comfort oriented touring car with Donkervoort claiming that it is capable of driving across Europe and back in reasonable comfort. While no interior photos were released as of this writing, Donkervoort revealed that the 1000 Miglia will feature a completely redesigned dashboard that features traditional analog gauges, and also come equipped with a wide range of standard amenities including a touch screen navigation system, and a charging port for phones and other mobile devices. In addition, the car is also expected to offered quilted leather racing seats, as well as a slightly reworked steering wheel with both elements peeking out when the car is viewed from select angles.
Performance for the 1000 Miglia variant does not differ that radically from the standard D8, but it does ride slightly higher than its track oriented sibling due to comfort oriented adjustable shock absorbers which sacrifice some handling capability in exchange for better long distance comfort. The car is also heavier than before due to some of the carbon fiber being swapped out for more sound deadening material as well as the extra weight of the fore-mentioned amenities. Thankfully the familiar Audi sourced 2.5 liter TSFI five-cylinder engine still provides the car with plenty of muscle albeit in a slightly tamer setup with the motor only capable of achieving a still commendable 310 horsepower (a drop of 30 horses versus the standard model.) Rounding out the edition specific tweaks are a host of model exclusive emblems and decals that help give the car a unique yet retro inspired appearance.
Buyers interested in buying a 1000 Miglia Edition for their garage will have to act quickly. Donkervoort is only building 25 examples with each one featuring a base MSRP of €115,000 ($130,000 in U.S. dollars) before taxes and various optional extras are formally factored in. The slick two seater will be sold in its Netherlands home market as well as a handful of other European nations, but like many of Donkervoorts other models, don’t expect it to make the trip across the Atlantic to our shores due to it not being able to comply with our government’s stricter safety and emissions laws.
When we last visited the Donkervoort D8 GTO Blister Berg edition, it was when the small Dutch firm teased the upcoming special edition model which was designed to celebrate Donkervoort’s working relationship with the Blister Berg private circuit. Thinly veiled in shadows, the menacing teaser image promised a meaner more aggressive D8 which could compete with the worlds best supercars. On that front, this special D8 delivers in spades, and brings more performance to the track than ever before.
The main changes that separate a Blister Berg branded D8 from its slightly more mainstream siblings is exterior styling. While the basic styling theme remains, a new front end design gives the car a much meaner looking face than before thanks to dark trim elements as well as strategic dollops of carbon fiber trim. Handling has also been revamped thanks to a retuned sport suspension that features Intrax branded shocks, new anti roll bars, and sticky Hankook semi-slick tires. Enthusiasts wondering whether the beefy roll cage adds unnecessary weight to the car will be pleased to hear that despite this particular addition, the car still retains its featherweight dimensions. This is thanks to a 22 lb weight reduction which was achieved with lightweight carpets, and equally light and supportive carbon fiber sport seats that promise to keep occupants firmly in place during spirited track work.
Performance hardware remains familiar to those that have seen other D8 GTO’s and is provided by the Audi RS3’s 2.5 liter turbocharged inline five which is good for a healthy 380 horsepower. This muscle allows the D8 to rocket its way to 60 mph in a scant 2.8 seconds, and it also played a key part in the record setting lap time the car achieved at the Blister Berg circuit. As a neat bonus, the Blister Berg edition comes equipped with the top tier “Performance Plus” package which features a dashboard mounted data logger for logging lap times and other performance data.
All of this performance hardware and special equipment does not come cheap however with each of the 14 copies built boasting a starting price of €194,000 which includes the 21 percent value added tax and is equivalent to $230,000. This is not cheap, but the D8’s unique charm and niche appeal does make up for the steep price tag, and we will envy the lucky few that get the privilege of owning one of these beasts.
The Donkervoort D8 GTO has always been an intriguing iteration of the Lotus Seven thanks to its unique styling as well as its performance hardware that makes the handbuilt Dutch supercar stand out in a class of its own. In a surprise announcement that was released earlier this week, Donkervoort revealed that it is working on a new iteration of the D8 GTO that commemorates the small Dutch firms working relationship with the Blitser Berg private race circuit.
Blister Berg for those that are not familiar with the facility is a private track that is very similar to facilities such as the Monticello Motor Club in New York, and Spain’s Ascari circuit. The key ties that bind the circuit and the small Dutch company together are Donkervoorts corporate branch office (which is located at the circuit,) and in raw performance numbers with the D8 holding the current lap record for production vehicles at the fabled track. It was not a cake walk for the D8 in that regard, with the car obtaining the record by beating numerous supercars (many from established bigger companies) around the challenging twists and turns of Blister Berg.
As for the model itself, Donkervoort has not released any technical details regarding the D8 GTO Blister Berg edition, but has revealed a teaser image that appears to showcase a new design for the front end, and the company promises that it will boast several distinctive performance upgrades that were developed on site at Blister Berg to allow it to stand out from mainstream D8s in muscle and handling performance. Production of the D8 GTO Blister Berg Edition will be limited to only 14 units, and Donkervoort is expected to reveal more information about this special GTO later this year including final horsepower numbers, pricing, as well as performance figures.