December 15, 2000

An R8 For the Road? Dutch Company Introduces The New C8
Article Compiled by George Achorn

Baarn, The Netherlands - While several great Le Mans competitors such as the Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1 and Nissan R390 have evolved into super limited road-going cars for homologation reasons, this year's dominating Audi R8 has not done so. Rules revolving around the LMP (Le Mans Prototype) open top class have allowed Audi and others to build their cars without building minor runs of these super exclusive cars.

As benchmark as today's iteration of the R8 has become in the racing world, no Audiphile, no matter how rich, will be able to have a road going version of the R8 roadster. However, perhaps now they can have a car that makes use of much of the same technology, including the legendary 4.2-liter V8 from the Audi S8.

It is important to note that Audi is not new to supplying components to smaller specialty automotive manufacturers. The recent Isotta Fraschini made use of Audi's 4.2-liter V8, automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive system to power its highly attractive coupe and roadster models.

With the recent notoriety of Audi's highly successful R8 road car though, the idea of a mid-engined S8-powered sports car is just too enticingly close to the R8 for a true Audiphile not to take notice.

Introducing The Reborn Spyker

If scarcity creates demand, then the reborn Spyker, the most famous Dutch name in international automotive history, offers the ultimate fulfilment to the discerning motor vehicle connoisseur seeking the very best in terms of craftsmanship and exclusivity.

Today, even in the most expensive and exclusive segments of the market, hand-built features are almost extinct. In designing the Spyker C8, however, the emphasis has been placed on building an ultra-advanced sports car concept, matching the individual skills of the craftsmen tot eh personal requirements of the customer.

There are passionate enthusiasts with a long-held personal dream not to buy any of the exotic models on the market, but one that is built truly to their on taste. In this respect, while the Spyker C8 may seem an understatement to the outside world, to the owner it is an expression of personal triumph - a symbol of success.

The justification for choosing a Spyker C8 lies among others in the limited number of orders that will be taken, thereby guaranteeing full attention to each individual example under construction. For the year 2001, only ten Spyker C8 cars will become available, followed by a maximum of 25 in 2002.

The Original History of Spyker

In 1898, Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coach builders in Amsterdam, pioneered their first Benz-engined automobile, and won immediate acclaim for the craftsmanship of their body work. The construction of the Golden State Coach in 1898, a gift from the citizens of Amsterdam, to commemorate the forthcoming inauguration of Queen Wilhelmina in 1901, and still in use today, marked the turning point from their coach building activities to car manufacturing. Subsequentally, the brothers registered their business under the name Spyker, written with a Y for easier recognition in foreign markets.

The 1903 60-hp Grand Prix racer was an important historical milestone, featuring the world's first six-cylinder engine as well as well as permanent four-wheel-drive. Other Spyker models followed: with their characteristic circular radiators, they enjoyed particular success in Britain and the Dutch East Indies. A second place in the gruelling 1907 Peking-Paris raid put Spyker firmly on the international map. After a temporary switch to aviation in the period or 1914-1918, during which the company constructed 100 fighter aircraft and 200 aircraft engines, car production resumed in 1919, with terms of character and build quality, supplied to royalty around the globe.

Nulla tenaci invia est via (for the enacious no road is unpassable) was also introduced on the radiator badges of Spyker products. The ultimate Maybach-engined C4 model enjoyed recognition as the Rolls Royce of the Continent, but also proved its sporty character by setting the Brooklands double-twelve speed record in 1922, clocking an average speed of 119 km/h in the hands of S.F. Edge. The last Spyker cars were built in 1925, after which the company ceased trading. Its racing and aviation heritage is now passed on to the new Spyker C8 sportscar.

The Unique Spyker C8

The re-introduction of the Spyker name is by no means a sentimental and retrospective attempt to recreate old glories. The C8 is an advanced mid-engined tw0-seat sports car, characterised by its lightweight construction and the purity of its design, with an engineering package developed from scratch.

The ultra-stiff chassis is manufactured from aluminium sheet and extrusions and is clad with hand-crafted aluminium body panels, in line with the original design drawings of Maarten de Bruijn who built the first Spyker prototype in the nineties.

The car not only features front-hinged tilting doors with an extremely strong and lightweight single point aluminium hinge (patent pending), but also fully-opening front and rear body sections. These sections provide access to luggage compartments in fornt and rear - including two tailor made Connolly leather suitcases. The access sections also reveal the C8's engineering details. These include fully-adjustable, independent front and rear suspension in stainless steel with unique Spyker-made components. Massive 14-inch AP disc brakes with 6-piston callipers provide stopping power for the car which is propelled by Audi's state-of-the-art 4.2-liter all-aluminium V8. This is arguably the most compact and reliable engine of its kind, featuring high-tech details such as 5-valve configuration. In the C8, it is mated to an Audi 6-speed transaxle powering the rear wheels.

The whole concept conjures up Spyker's goal of active competition at Le Mans and other endurance races in the very near future. For this purpose, the Spyker C8 GT3 featuring a stunning closed body, will be introduced in the spring of 2001. The finish and final specifications of each unit will be tailored to meet the personal taste and ergonomic requirements of the owner/driver who will be seated in tailor-made quality seats.

The Spyker C8's personality is further enhanced by a number of unusual eye-catching interior features. Most noticeable, perhaps, on entering the car are the dashboard and instrument panel. The design of the instrumentation is reminiscent of those found in aircraft, reflecting the Spyker company's aviation heritage. Once seated behind the controls, drivers will appreciate the remarkable design of the gear lever, so shaped to highlight the unusual shift pattern that adds to the uniqueness of this car. The Spyker C8 also features a unique in-house design centralised wiring system, which combines simplicity with reliability and uses self-resetting fuses throughout (patent pending).

Luxury and performance are further encapsulated in a number of other interior features, such as the tasteful incorporation of aluminium design elements as well as the exclusive Connolly leather trim executed by specialists Anderson & Ryan.

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