Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 is how you say 'g-forces' in Dutch

Jonathon Ramsey


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Last August, Donkervoort announced a special edition of its D8 GTO to celebrate founder Joop Donkervoort's 70th birthday. The model was dubbed the D8 GTO-JD70, and befitting the best birthday commemorations, it took awhile to complete. The roadster's final form is now ready, the boutique Dutch maker claiming it has outdone everything else on the road.

The centerpiece is the Audi 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder making 415 horsepower, 21 more ponies than the mill provides to the current Audi RS 3, and 384 pound-feet of torque. Yet the JD70 weighs nearly a ton less than the Audi, 1,543 pounds for the flying Dutchman compared to 3,494 pounds to the Teuton's relative battleship. That's partly how the Donkervoort pulls 1.02 g of straight-line acceleration dashing to 62 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds, a ripper accomplished with a close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching downshifts and full-throttle upshifts. That's 1.4 seconds quicker than the Audi. Achieving 124 mph needs just 7.7 seconds, on the way to a 174-mph terminal velocity.

 

Naturally, the tires play their small part in those latter numbers. Donkervoort said it switched OEM spec to the semi-slick Nankang AR-1 tire on staggered wheels, the road-legal sticky rubber supposedly able to get the D8 GTO-JD70 beyond 2 g's of lateral acceleration in standard showroom spec. The company calls its creation "The first 2G super sports car." This model is the first with electrically-assisted power steering, with modes to vary steering weight. The firm says it also switched to Tarox brakes with six-piston calipers on 310-mm front rotors, single-caliper units on the 285-mm rear discs.

Between the engine and the tires, designers toyed with new bodywork fitted to the tubular steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber chassis to make the open-top more efficient through the air. A weave of carbon fiber and kevlar makes up more than 95% of the body panels that include aero touches like louvers on the wings over the front wheels to create another 110 pounds of downforce, and a second rear diffuser that adds 176 pounds of downforce. The European Union directive for vehicles to use gas particulate filters allowed Donkervoort to bring side pipes back; the filter muffled the sound enough to satisfy EU sound laws, and the free space down the middle of the chassis made room for the double diffuser.

Donkervoort will assemble just 70 JD70s, with more than half the production already sold. Each model starts at €163.636,36 ($185,367 U.S.) before taxes.