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Meet the mad Donkervoort JD70 R track-day special

Track-only roadster claims "hypercar performance and technology for only supercar pricing"

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Remember the mad-looking Donkervoort D8 GTO JD70? ‘Course you do. Built to celebrate company founder Joop’s 70th birthday, the circa-700kg roadster uses a beefed-up 2.5-litre five-cylinder motor from the Audi RS3. That means 0-62mph in comfortably under three seconds and, claims Donkervoort, the ability to pull 2G in the bends. Ouch.

Not enough for you? Meet the JD70 R. “If the D8 GTO JD70 is the very beating heart of Donkervoort Automobielen,” says the company’s press release, “then the JD70 R is its hard-core, uncompromising soul.” Right.

In essence it’s a track-only JD70, with significant modifications to the gearbox, brakes, steering and wheels/tyres that make it a full five seconds faster than the normal JD70 around Spa-Francorchamps. Let us explain…

The engine is the same, but now it’s coupled to a six-speed sequential gearbox instead of a five-speed manual. Heavier, but worth it for the quicker changes. Donkervoort has also fitted a 12-stage Bosch ABS system, race-spec brakes with a knob on the dash for adjusting the bias front to rear and special slick tyres from Nankang. There are custom springs, four-way adjustable Intrax dampers and stiffer ARBs and bushes. The result is a 20mm drop in ride height and 20 per cent more stiffness.

Donkervoort claims the R is much safer than the standard car, too, thanks to an FIA-spec fuel tank, fire extinguisher system and roll cage. Telemetry such as tyre pressures and temperatures can be beamed back to the pits in real time.

It’s no faster in a straight line than the normal JD70 – with 0-62mph possible in 2.7 seconds, and 0-124mph taking just 7.7 seconds – but the company claims it is now capable of generating 2.25 lateral G.

The price is €198,000 before VAT. That’s just under £220,000 with taxes paid, in the UK. Thoughts?

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