Two and a half years of development have allowed the designers at Donkervoort Automobielen, in Lelystad in the Netherlands, to present a new generation of open sports car: the Donkervoort GTO. Thanks to the active support of Audi Quattro GmbH, the cars boast 400HP and 450Nm of torque.
All this in a car weighing just 700kg means it should be one of the fastest sports cars on the European market. There are hints of the legendary Lotus Super Seven in the look of the GTO – although the Lotus would seem like a toy car against its much bigger brother. The GTO is even larger than its predecessors, the closed GT and the open D8 270RS – 35cm longer and 15cm wider, to be exact, and the newly designed car has certainly caught the attention of the punters invited to the first private preview: within a few hours, almost half of the first 25 ‘special series’ GTOs had been sold.
Under the bonnet sits a five-cylinder 340HP 2.5-litre TFSI Audi engine, placed longitudinally, and ready – at the press of a button in the cockpit – to increase its power output to an astonishing 400HP. There is also – for the first time in the 34-year-history of Donkervoort – on-board traction control.
The car’s tubular steel frame supports large carbon composite panels, glued together for maxiumum rigidity and ultra-low weight. There are many details to impress the technically minded: such as the one-piece door which can withstand a sidelong blow of around 1500kg, and whose hinges can take a force of more than 1100kg – yet which weighs only 980 grammes. Or how about the locking devices on the aluminium bonnet, which are derived from the American rocket industry – where low weight, easy operation and a smooth finish are vital?
Production of the special series cars begins this year, with the first vehicles due for delivery in the summer – while the 'regular' versions are expected on European roads in 2013. The price of the new GTO is between €100,000 and €150,000, excluding taxes.