Extreme pure driving experience: the philosophy that led to the creation of 1980ies turbocharged Formula 1 cars is perfectly street legal and accessible for the average supercar buyer. In other words, the Donkervoort D8 GTO is one hell of a beast with license plates as a standard equipment. “It shouldn’t be legal!” could be the most heard comment by Donkervoort drivers by their average passenger: not counting the high bitching screams of course. The GTO (yet another car with this iconic name) is the car made for mad drivers: not collectors.
The 5 cylinder, 400 horsepower Audi engine is the perfect match for a 650 kg car: its power delivery is surprisingly instantaneous and immediate accelerations. The ride is stiff, and even through a quick spin around Monaco the car shows a lot of potential. A lot of potential condensed in a few minutes around the legendary track inside the small town.
The GTO is pure esthetic exhilaration: the visual impact is quite astonishing. If the Lotus 7 would have taken the steroids it would’ve travelled down to Holland to grow some real muscle. Oh yes, and gain a pair of kickass scissor doors as well. You can’t build a performance car without odd door openings. It’s the unwritten rule of supercar manufacturing.
Lowering your body inside the open cockpit is a challenge indeed and if you’re riding as a passenger, mind the hot side exhaust (which actually ends on the back). The car is so minimal that there was no way the headers would pass underneath the passengers: they would be roasted in a few minutes and there would be not enough bodywork to cover it. If in doubt, leave the exhaust exposed.
The interior feels like a stretched out Formula 1, with the knob of the traction control (8 different positions selectable) sticking out the exposed carbon of the cockpit. The alcantara-rimmed steering wheel is small and looks so inviting and it feels perfectly matched to the short gearlever: these combination makes you want to find some old racing gloves and go for a drive, pretending to be a racing driver from the past.
While we had a brief experience on the capable Donkervoort in the company of our friend Alexander we had a very good glimpse of what such a car is capable of doing. We can’t wait to travel north to see more for ourselves.