What do you suppose is the ideal birthday present for a 70-year-old? Perhaps a nice new set of golf clubs? Or how about a new range of bonkers sports cars that develop around 600bhp per tonne?
Dutch firm Donkervoort thankfully went for the far more interesting latter option to honour its founder Joop Donkervoort, who’s just turned 70. The car in question is the D8 GTO-JD70, powered by a 2.5-litre inline-five turbo engine borrowed from Audi.
That’s the same powerplant used by the most recent D8, but this time there’s more power - 415bhp. A healthy output for something that weighs under 700kg, so it should come as no surprise that the JD70 will hit 62mph from rest in 2.7 seconds, and 124mph in just 7.7. Keep going, and it’ll run all the way to 174mph. Unlike the RS3, TT RS and RS Q3 it shares the engine with, the JD70 uses a five-speed manual gearbox, rather than a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The special D8’s party piece isn’t the way it accelerates, however. Nope, that’ll be the way it goes around corners. Thanks to wider tracks for the front and rear double-wishbone suspension setup and the fitting of Nankang AR-1 tyres - semi-slicks which merely have a light hint of tread - it can pull cornering forces beyond 2G.
Doonkervort is claiming this is the first production car to achieve such a feat, although it is worth pointing out there are a few other vehicles - for instance, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG003S - which have made the same boast. But still, for something on road-legal tyres, it’s an astonishing and very rare feat.
As before, it looks much like how a Caterham might - if the Seven’s styling had evolved beyond the 1960s. The D8’s wild shape has been developed further still, with the movement of the exhaust to the side freeing up a whole load of space to overhaul the aero side of the equation.
It has a new, second rear diffuser, which on its own is responsible for an 80kg increase in downforce. There’s also a new nose cone and louvred front wheel covers, adding another 50kg.
As a low-volume sports car with bodywork made almost entirely of carbon fibre, it is - predictably - not cheap. Sitting down? Good - you’re looking at €163.636.36 before taxes. Production will be limited to 70 units, with one made for each of Joop Donkervoort’s years on planet Earth.