To celebrate the 70th birthday of its founder, Dutch boutique sports car maker Donkervoort has unveiled a lightweight sports car that can take corners at a heavyweight 2 g. Donkervoort claims the D8 GTO-70 is the first production car to achieve this feat on road tires.
The car weighs less than 1540 pounds and its Audi Sport 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo engine (pops and) bangs out 420 hp. The sprint from 0-62 mph takes 2.7 seconds and top speed is 174 mph.
With its steel and carbon-fiber ladder frame chassis clad in carbon/kevlar bodywork, double wishbone suspension at each corner and three-way adjustable dampers, the D8 GTO-70 is built for bends. Stopping power comes from Italian Tarox wave pattern discs with six-piston calipers. Options include electric power steering and a Bosch Race ABS system. Special, but road legal, Nanking tires are fitted.
Helping to stick this featherweight flyer to the ground are louvered cycle wings and a rear diffuser that, between them, create over 280 pounds of downforce. It’s not exactly pretty, but there’s definitely purpose to the styling of this strange scissor-door-wearing Lotus-Seven-dialled-up-to-11.
Because that’s exactly what founder Joop Donkervoort’s plan has been from the start. He bought the Dutch rights to the original lightweight Lotus Seven in 1978, only to find it wasn’t road legal in the Netherlands, so he had to re-work it to meet the regulations, adding a few “improvements” along the way.
Just 70 of these ultimate iteration Donkervoorts will be sold—in Europe—at a U.S. equivalent price of $180,000. Sadly, that doesn’t mean you can actually buy one. Although Donkervoort does report that one determined American fan had his car completely dismantled before importing it and rebuilding it.
Maybe there’s some hope, after all.