The long wait for one of Holland’s finest, the Spyker is over. The brand has tried to bounce back after a series of unsuccessfull negotiations with investors. This time, the Dutch carmaker will reportedly return in 2022 with new internal-combustion vehicles, aided by funding from a familiar group of Russian investors.
The two headlining investors in the deal are Boris Rotenberg and Michail Pessis. Rotenberg owns SMP Racing and BR Engineering, while Pessis is the co-owner of SMP Racing Monaco, as well as the owner of Milan Morady SA in Luxembourg and R-Company GmbH in Germany. If these names sound familiar, that’s because they were also the previous pair who failed to seal the deal last year, prompting Spyker CEO Victor Muller to file for bankruptcy yet again.
“The collaboration agreement which has been confirmed is the starting point to rebuild Spyker as a sports car manufacturer with a more solid foundation than ever before and with ample access to better technical and financial resources than we ever had to achieve our ambitious business objectives,” Muller said in a statement.
Reports say that these three Spyker models are headed to production, namely the Spyker C8 Preliator, the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris SUV, and the Spyker B6 Venator. Production will start in 2022, as soon as the parties formalize the agreement in writing and the applicable trademark is secured.
To spice things up, the brand is doing collaboration between three countries for their production: as carbon-fiber bodies will come from Russia, engineering from Germany and Russia, and assembly via a new manufacturing facility in the Netherlands. Spyker has a relatively short but curious past. The company came into existence in 1999 building supercars with meticulous detail and intricate interiors rivaling that of Pagani. Although it was never as successful as Pagani, let take a look at one of its productions before they went bankrupt.
Spyker C8 Aileron
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‘Nulla tenaci invia est via’. Is Spyker’s motto which is translated literally, ‘For the tenacious no road is impassable or, to put it another way, anything in life is possible so long as you’ve got the balls. This has been the brand’s motivator in building supercars with remarkable performance. The car’s exterior features strikingly aggressive, aircraft industry-influenced styling accompanied by a jet turbine wheel design and jet engine-inspired air intakes.
The car comes with a 4.2-liter Audi V-8 grumbling away just behind the cabin, all muscled up with 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an optional ($10,000) six-speed ZF automatic, that’s enough to thrust this 3150-pound, aluminum-intensive (wheels, control arms, space frame, bodywork) mid-engined coupe to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds if the manufacturer’s claims are correct.
The cabin is slathered with padded leather. Everything that isn’t leathered is aluminum including the instrument panel, enhanced by an optional engine-turned finish in this car. Various secondary gauges are arrayed ’50s-style across the flat IP, a classic look enhanced by an aircraft-style toggle sheltered by a red flip-up cover, the master switch for all electrical functions.
Though it’s quite noisy inside, it’s all very stylish, and the Spyker people freely concede that style is a critical component in this car’s appeal—the aerocentric Aileron is one of the very few rides capable of displacing a Ferrari from a restaurant valet’s front row.
The Chassis and Suspension
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Outside the flashy look and luxurious interior, Lotus engineers brought their specialty to bare developing the rigid chassis and the suspension. The 107.3-inch wheelbase of this second-gen car is 5.9 inches longer than the earlier C8’s with a much wider front track (64.0 inches versus 57.9). The lengthened wheelbase yields more room within and the widened track improves transient response which seems to be quick though somewhat muffled by a speed-sensitive steering system that’s numb on-center.
Devoid of modern safety crutches such as traction and stability control, it’s a setup that nevertheless generates driver confidence quickly. Whether that, plus distinctive design, adds up to $229,190 the base price for a C8 automatic coupe (there’s also a new C8 Aileron Spyder, and previous C8s remain in production) is something only a privileged few will ponder in earnest.
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