Geneva Pre-Show: Donkervoort D8 GT

Dutch specialty car builder Donkervoort (whose funny Dutchness belies a lack of humorous meaning) revealed the D8 GT it plans to unveil at the Geneva Show next month. For those unaware of Donkervoort's charms, it's a purveyor of batshit mad Lotus Seven-style sports cars like the 270 RS. The D8 GT is a coupe, whose carbon-fiber roof provides extra rigidity, though whose scissor doors add needless glam. Under the hood is the Donk's customary Audi-sourced 1.8 turbo four, producing 180, 210 or 270 horsepower. Expect around 50 D8 GTs to be produced per year, and sold at a price of around $120,000 each.

Press Release:

PRESS RELEASE: 19 February 2007 - For the first time in almost 30 years of our company history, we will introduce an all new, closed sports car. The Donkervoort D8 GT is delivered with the well-known Audi four cylinder turbo engine with 180, 210 or 270 horsepower. Although it is based on the current D8 version, the D8 GT embodies a number of new high-tech features. The important and world famous Geneva Motorshow is chosen as the scene for the introduction of the car, that will set a new tone in the segment of ultra light sports cars. During the Geneva Motorshow, the Donkervoort D8 GT can be viewed on stand 1131.

In comparison with the open D8 version, major changes have been done so the D8 GT can be seen as a totally new concept that visualises the future Donkervoorts. These changes are not only limited to it's new appearance, but also it's high-tech setup form a new standard by means of weight reduction and safety in the segment of ultra light weight sports cars. All together, the D8 GT will be faster, safer and more responsive to drive than the D8. We have a positive history with closed cars. The car in which our German Donkervoort dealer, Michael D

chting, has already broken the well-known lap record at the Nordschleife circuit was fitted with an experimental hard-top. The D8 GT was developed on the basis of this experience and this means that we think that there is a good chance to improve on this record once again.

Better road handling

The D8 GT is built on the same chassis as the standard D8 but this has been altered in a number of areas. As the new carbon fibre roof forms a structural part in the chassis / body, the torsional stiffness of the assembly has been significantly improved by 25% This more rigid body / chassis and the new suspension enable the D8 GT to steer more accurately and precisely. The objective is to create a smoother but also sharper ride. Therefore, the front wheel suspension is new and the rear wheel suspension has been modified for the larger, special developed 17 inch wheels with a weight of only 6.5 kg. The front track and rear track have been increased by eight and four centimetres respectively, in order to create a smoother ride. Special shock absorbers have also been developed. They are provided with not only a hydraulic ride height-adjustment but also the option to adjust the stiffness of the damping in high and low frequencies. Also the brake system has been improved by the new 6 piston alloy callipers and the larger 300mm discs with alloy bells.

Light weight

The special use of ultra light materials where possible, makes it possible to achieve the objective of a total weight of the car of 650 kg. For example, the coup

roof is made from two layers of carbon fibre with an integrated roll-cage in between. The ultra light windows are made of polycarbonate, an application specifically developed by GEplastics for the D8 GT, it does not only incorporate ceramic layers for wiper applications it also includes a rear window electric heating. The doors, which are opened upwards and to the front, are also made of carbon fibre. The polycarbonate side windows can be partly opened.

Aerodynamics

The higher speed potential of the D8 GT is achieved through decreased air resistance and the improved down force. The improved Cw value is due to both the smooth coup

roof and the horizontal winglets left and right in which the rear lights are housed. These winglets alone reduce the air resistance by 5%. The under tray is sealed over its entire length with a carbon fibre sandwich plate. This enables the diffuser to work more effectively and real down force is generated. This is a significant step in comparison with the open D8 which is subject to minor lift at high speed. The carbon fibre under plate also contributes significantly to the rigidity of the chassis. The D8 GT is 30 centimetres longer than an open D8, but the wheelbase is the same. The overhang is 8 cm longer at the front and 22 cm at the rear. This has been done primarily to improve the aerodynamics.

Safety

The increased level of active safety of the D8 GT is achieved due to the down force, the increased rigidity of the chassis and the new wheel suspension. The sum total of this should mean not only higher cornering speed levels, but also a safer ride by the combination of smoothness and sharpness. Increased levels of passive safety are the result of the integrated roll-cage which offers a higher level of protection and the crash-zones in the nose and tail. The two vertical vents in the rear are exhaust outlets for the warm air generated by the brakes and the differential. They have been built and strengthened so that both vents and the air tunnels behind them form strong crash boxes which provide resistance in the event of a collision from the rear. The under tray also contributes to the crash resistance of the vehicle by making the chassis extremely resistant to distortion.

Styling

The thrilling and aggressive looks from the D8 GT are the result of its technical features: form follows function. All details on the car have a technical meaning. The wider nose of the car is necessary to house the extra oil and water coolers left and right. New Xenon headlamps have been integrated in the wider nose, also to improve the aerodynamics. These details give the car a new appearance. An important styling element on the back of the car is the diffuser. It creates an effective air stream and leads away the hot air from both the differential and the exhaust. The big openings in the tail also function as cooling ducts. Other styling features are the aerodynamic wings that create down force and in the mean time house the rear lamps of the car.

We plan a maximum production of 50 D8 GT's per year. Export prices start at 90.000,- euro.

Related:

Dutch Treat, Redux: Donkervoort D8 GT Coming to Geneva [internal]