Joop Donkervoort started out importing the Lotus Seven, a lightweight sportster first introduced in 1957. That minimalist steel chassis tubular framed sports car proved the basis of a lasting affection for Donkervoort, and moving on to the present day he would like to introduce us to the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 in celebration of his 70th birthday.

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

The Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 is being built in the Donkervoort Automobielen BV Lelystad Factory in central Netherlands; Lelystad is the capital of Flevoland Province. Donkervoort Automobielen BV emerged in 1978 with the brand motto of ‘no compromise’, which in essence meant driving without too many of the aids we now take for granted, like ABS and ESP. Fortunately, such things are optional these days.

The Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 edition being released is the Bare Naked Carbon Edition (BNCE) in a lovely clear or coloured lacquer (which includes red, blue, gold, grey and green) with either a gloss or matte finish over the woven pattern carbon – rather unique and very striking; almost a dye effect. The interior carbon can be finish-matched too if you wish. All that carbon (the bodywork is more than 95% carbon-fibre) also makes the new 700kg D8 GTO-JD70 much lighter than the regular version. It doesn’t stop there either; buyers can choose from several different optional finishes:

Exposed Carbon Upgrade

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

The Exposed Carbon Upgrade shows the side panels, bonnet scoop and engine bay wings plus the interior.

Hypercar Carbon Weave

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

The Hypercar Carbon Weave for the Carbon Upgrade Pack has a slightly different weave to the carbon-fibre thus reducing weight.

Full Exposed Carbon Upgrade & Full Exposed Coloured Carbon

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

These are probably the most striking options. With the Full Exposed Carbon Upgrade is the exhaust cover is exposed, while Full Exposed Coloured Carbon offers the full colour-tinted lacquer option.

The D8 GTO-JD70 is the world’s first true 2G production car, capable of holding 2G acceleration laterally, with impressive cornering abilities. The car gets a second rear diffuser and can now deliver up to 80kg of rear downforce with 50kg up front thanks to the redesigned front end ‘nose’ and louvres in the wheel covers.

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

One notable nod to modern comforts is the addition of an adjustable electric power-steering unit, which allows the ‘no compromise’ motto to remain true in other areas, but offers a more pleasant driving experience. Engine-wise, the GTO -JD70 features a 5-cylinder Audi engine (the company replaced the use of Ford engines with Audis in 1996) and has a top speed of 174mph with 415bhp. A 5-speed gearbox controls everything and 0-62mph is achieved in a around 2.7 seconds. Fuel efficiency isn’t too bad either and you can expect a reasonable enough 34.4mpg if driving steadily. ABS is optional and adjustable traction control keeps things steady.

A point to note is that the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 is left-hand drive only, which may not be too much of a concern in such a small open vehicle, but the price of getting one onto these shores might be a barrier: A Caterham would be an easier UK purchase as we are talking in the region of over £175,000 for the GTO-JD70 here. But still, what a lovely finish!

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