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Gentlemen, meet the Donkervoort GTO
Joop Donkervoort is a man cut from the same cloth as Colin Chapman, if that cloth is lightweight, devoid of everyday practicality and ruddy quick.
In fact, Mr Donkervoort actively cites Chapman as inspiration, something you should bear in mind while reading the following. Internet, meet the new Donkervoort GTO.
It comes after two and a half years of development in conjunction with Audi, and is an open-topped, two seat roadster. That Audi hookup means the GTO - yes, a rather presumptive name - gets the same 2.5-litre turbocharged five-pot as the RS3 and TT RS, producing 340bhp and 331 torques from just 1,600rpm.
Donkervoort has added its own magic to this motor though, lifting an estimated 30kg of weight thanks to a redesigned inlet manifold “that follows a more favourable route through the motor area”. Mr Joop hasn’t released performance figures, but couple this power to the GTO’s weight of around 700kgs and you can estimate what kind of acceleration the car is capable of. Hint: lots.
But there’s more. Donkervoort tells us there’s a special race module switch on the dashboard that instantly ups the power of that five-pot to 400bhp. Now, Donkervoorts of old - the D8 270RS and GT - were famously shorn of nannying eccentricities such as ‘power steering’ and ‘ABS’ and such. This new GTO though, is the first car from the company’s Lelystad base to come with traction control. “Only when it is raining, of course”, Donkervoort quickly adds, lest you get your straighteners ready. Still no power steering. Or ABS.
The body consists of a steel tubular frame, carbon composite panels and a one-piece door said to withstand a sideways blow of up to 1,500kgs, using techniques derived from aviation, while the aluminium bonnet gets a locking system used by the American rocket industry. Yes, inspiration from the rocket industry.
Production kicks off in 2012 on an intial run of 25 cars, with the first deliveries expected over summer. Price? You’re looking at between £85,000 to £125,000, excluding taxes.
So - want one?