I first heard about Dutch company Donkervoort in 2004 when I wrote a news report about them setting a new lap record around the Nurburgring.
7 minutes 18 seconds.
Taking the title away from a Radical SR3 Turbo.
I was incredulous.
How could this little car do that?
This was a time when the Carrera GT in the hands of none other than Walter Row was only setting times over 728.
Preposterous, I thought.
Well, now finally I'm here to drive a new RS from John Cavort.
The question is, how can they really make a good sports car, let alone one that's good running over green, and all the roads in Holland seem to be so
Straight, and flat.
This is the D8 GTO RS.
It's the latest in a line of cars built here in the Netherlands since 1978.
It's an impressive setup of a factory too.
For example, despite being a small company, they make all their own carbon fiber.
And the latest X-Core panels can withstand an impact of two tons at 60 kph.
These carbon panels are, in fact, fit directly to the chassis to make them structural parts, a bit like a Ferrari at 40.
Recognizably an Audi key.
Good Because, [SOUND]
Under the bonnet is a 2.5 liter and the straight-five.
[SOUND] You have turbo-charge, obviously.
[UNKNOWN] actually manages to save a whopping 35 kilos over the engine that you'll find in the old Like PGA TGRS.
Just by getting rid of various unnecessary [UNKNOWN].
The company also designs a new intake and exhaust for the [UNKNOWN].
And the end result is [NOISE]
380 [UNKNOWN] and 369 pounds.
Torque, which is quite a lot in a car weighing 695 kilograms.
Now you say averaging five-cylinder turbo here in the outdoors of [INAUDIBLE] Audi S1 Portruse.
But this doesn't really sound like that at all [SOUND]
It sounds much angrier.
It's really curious, because this car, in some ways it looks really futuristic, almost what you'd expect, I know a Lotus Seven to look like if it was in a futuristic film.
And yet, you get into it and you look under the skin, and actually it's still very old school.
Underneath the Carbon skin, there is still a steel tubular chasis.
There's also a five speed manual gear box, no power assistance for the steering or brakes.
And the diff casing is actually an old Ford Sierra design, albeit with new [UNKNOWN] internals.
I asked them why they stick with a five speed box and they said simply that it's been developed a lot over the years and it seems a shame to get rid of it.
Also, they pointed out that a top speed of 174 miles an hour is plenty for a car like this.
The naught to 60 mile time by the way, is just 2.7 seconds.
If we were talking about the interior of this car because unlike a normal Lotus 7, or the previos Thunderbolts, there is much more room in here Somebody of my height, I feel much lower, much more encased in the car.
Probably don't much of that head stream, I love the bank of dials, toggle switches as well, it's very agile.
I particularly like the seat design.
Which is simple yet rather striking, and like a polite dance teacher.
Holds you firmly in all the correct places.
I spoke to one of the owners of these cars before I drove this, and he said what you really need is a racetrack.
I can see why.
So we went to a racetrack.
Well at least a strange little test facility near an airport that had lots of police hanging around on motor bikes.
Not ideal perhaps but it did at least have some corners and a motocome of man made variations elevations.
a proper handle on this car.
Its a real race car, going through the land right means lightly right a your fingertip.
This is a really physical car.
I imagine you might be a little closer to the wheel to get a bit more leverage on it.
The rev back in which, you think it wouldn't make sense, but when you talk unassisted brake Actually, it really does make a lot of sense.
Talk about old school and evolving.
Road matching is a huge help because with the unassisted brakes, you don't want to compromise the force your foot is puting on the heavy brake pedal by trying to blip the throttle at the same time.
The corners, these tires, these handgrips, I've never used them before.
I'm really progressing actually, I mean there's a lot of revamping.
Suspension is double wishbones all around and the dampers are three-way adjustable items by another Dutch company called In Tracks.
Those tires, by the way, are hand-cooked vintage TDs.
Not rubber that I'd tried before, but they really did feel pleasingly progressive, which was just as well.
You can change all the brake lines, and pressure control, and APS, but this is a prototype [NOISE] It's another That's actually working.
The D8 GTO RS is an intriguing car.
The build quality is top noth.
The choice of engine makes it stand out from the crowd and you're unlikely to meet another one at a track day, partly because each one costs over 150,000 euros.
In this age of assisted everything
The D8 GTRS is an alarmingly yet also reassuring physical driving experience.
A bit like growing your own vegetables instead of popping down the soup market to buy them.
I don't think I've ever driven a car that's quite so much hard work turning round as this one.
My arm's gonna [INAUDIBLE]
It is a savagely-fast car.
And the track is certainly where this RS shines most brightly.
Although the idea of setting a laptime around the [UNKNOWN] is intimidating.
But there is little Though it may come from a country with very straight, very flat roads.
This latest [UNKNOWN] rs would, like it's ancestor set a very impressive lap time indeed.
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