This Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS Is a Dutch Dream Machine for the Track

Car Culture 6 July 11, 2018 by

From windmills to wooden shoes, the Dutch are known for many things. However, performance cars are pretty low on that list, especially for a country that loves bicycles. But tucked away in Lelystad is a company that makes some absolutely wild cars. That’s why for this week’s Want we’re taking a look at the wildest of them all, the Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS.

The story of Donkervoort starts in 1978. During that time Joop Donkervoort acquired a company to import kit cars based on Colin Chapman’s Lotus Seven. Soon after getting them to the Netherlands he learned they weren’t actually street legal.

Instead of being dissuaded by this, Donkervoort set to work at his shop in Tienhoven.

After modifying the chassis to make the car compliant, he put it on sale. Bearing the name S7 and then S8 — an improvement over the original Seven, you see — in total he built 140 cars. This was just foreshadowing what was to come.

Over the next 20 years, the company grew rapidly and kept expanding its facilities.

Then in 1999, its big break came that would turn the cars from mild to wild; a partnership with Audi. This meant the Donkervoort cars could now dive into the German manufacturer’s wide array of engines.

It was this partnership that upped the performance for the Donkervoort cars. In 2004, the company even set out to prove it on the Nurburgring. For the next two years, the Donkervoort D8 RS steadily improved its time around the Green Hell.

Then in 2006, it clocked a 7:14.89. This secured the fastest road-legal production car lap around the Nordschleife. From there it took another three years before the Gumpert Apollo Sport would steal the King of the Ring title from Donkervoort.

Over the next 10 years, Donkervoort steadily improved and refined its car. Then in 2016, it unveiled the most insane version to date, the GTO-RS.

This is where we find our example as well. Offered up by Iconiccars in Tienen, Belgium, it’s one of just 40 GTO-RS cars ever made.

So what makes the GTO-RS so crazy? For starters, it’s the engine. It uses a similar spec 2.5-liter inline-five engine to the one found in the Audi TT RS. This is good for 380hp and 368lbft of torque. While on the surface this seems fairly tame, it’s the weight — or rather lack of it — that continues the insanity.

Tipping the scales at just 1,530lb it’s a featherweight by nearly every standard.

Due to this, the performance figures are equally incredible. The sprint to 60 takes just 2.7 seconds and tops out at 173mph. It’ll even go from a standing start to 125mph in a mere 7.2 seconds.

Even better yet, it does all this while still getting an average of 23mpg.

The rest of the car is fairly bare bones and is pretty much awash with carbon fiber everywhere.

Despite this, it’s actually fairly plush inside or at least as plush as a track toy can get. Anything not made from carbon fiber gets a covering of Alcantara, which makes it look at least a little more appealing.

The exterior of the car might be the best of all though. Covering the car from boot to bonnet is a coating of Ultra Violet purple from Porsche.

While purple may not be for everyone, we think it’s pretty much perfect.

If you want to get your hands on what’s probably the ultimate track car, it won’t come cheap. Currently, Iconiccars is listing this 2018 GTO-RS for €235,000 ($275,000).

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