The Donkervort D8 GTO JD70 can pull 2G in the corners, which will feel like someone’s trying to rip your face off. You might think that doesn’t leave room for something more extreme, but the Dutch sports car builder has built such a thing anyway.
This new D8 GTO JD70R has all the stuff that makes the standard version so fantastically bonkers - a 395bhp 2.5-litre inline-five turbo borrowed from Audi, a circa-700kg kerb weight, and a suitably wide track. The big difference here is it’s not road legal, with Donkervort wrapping the 17-inch front/18-inch rear Rays wheels in Nankang slicks.
The Intrax dampers in the double-wishbone suspension setup are now 20 per cent stiffer, and the ride height is 20mm lower. The springs, anti-roll bars and bushings have been beefed up too. Two steering racks are available, the quicker of the two having a super-short 2.7:1 ratio. It’s also possible to ditch the electronic power-assistance for a purer driving experience.
The bulk of the JD70’s Tarox braking hardware has been used for the R, but with the racing pads and fluids used for better heat management. Plus, a Bosch M5 Clubsport anti-lock braking system has been added, giving 12 levels of adjustability.
A serious track car needs serious safety systems, and Donkervoort hasn’t skimped here. There’s 60 per cent more carbon fibre used in the bodywork to improve side-impact protection, and the driver sits in a carbon bucket seat with a six-point harness. In case things go really wrong, there’s a Bilster Berg roll cage plus an FIA-homologated fire extinguisher. There’s even an FIA-approved ‘bladder-style’ fuel tank full of fuel-absorbing foam.
The changes make the JD70R five seconds faster than its street-legal counterpart at Spa-Francorchamps. To qualify the claim of the R offering, “hypercar performance and technology for only supercar pricing,” Donkervoort also says it’s three seconds faster at Spa than the Koenigsegg Regera. We’re struggling to find any lap time for the single-speed ‘egg at the track, but we do know the One:1 shot around in 2min 32sec in 2015.
The R costs €198,000, compared to €163.636.36 for the JD70 (both prices before taxes). Not cheap, but it’s hard to argue with Donkervoort’s assertion that the five-pot lightweight is, “the most exclusive, lowest maintenance and best-supported way to go hypercar hunting on the world’s racetracks.”