If a car is engineered to be lightweight, it doesn’t need a lot of power to be quick or fun to drive. But there’s also no rule that says a lightweight car can’t also make a lot of power. The latest automaker to do exactly that is Donkervoort with its new targa-top F22. It’s a wild, weird-looking car with proportions that look like they were dreamed up by video game designers.
But while only 75 are scheduled to be built, the Donkervoort F22 is no video game car. It’s real and has the potential to be an absolute track monster. That’s because it weighs only 1,653 lbs and makes 500 horsepower. With a power-to-weight ratio of more than 600 hp per ton, it’s got a better power-to-weight ratio than the original Bugatti Veyron.
That power comes from a 2.5-liter Audi-sourced inline-five that Donkervoort says its engineers tuned for more power and low-end torque. And while it makes more power than its predecessor, the D8, it produces fewer CO2 emissions. Power gets sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission that was reportedly chosen because its smaller size allowed Donkervoort to mount the engine further back.
But while the F22 may be quicker than almost every other car on the road today, it’s more about cornering and lap times. Helped in part by a Torsen limited-slip differential, Donkervoort says it’s capable of up to 2.15G of lateral acceleration. Braking performance has also been improved by 30 percent compared to its predecessor.
It should also be more comfortable than the D8, too, thanks to a four-inch longer cabin that Donkervoort says offers more than three inches of extra shoulder room. But don’t let the car’s street-legal status and focus on passenger comfort fool you into thinking Donkervoort turned it into a grand tourer. The F22 comes stock with Recaro racing seats and six-point harnesses that the company says are the first to be approved for both road and track use.
If you’re interested in owning one, you’ll have to act fast. Only 75 will be built, and at least 50 were already spoken for before the F22 was revealed. U.S. pricing has yet to be announced, but in Europe, it will start at €245,000. That’s a lot of money, but considering the performance and limited production numbers, that’s a lot less than we would have probably guessed. And if you did manage to snag one, you shouldn’t have to wait long. Deliveries begin in January 2023.