You'd be forgiven for not having heard of Donkervoort before. The niche Dutch outfit started out in 1978 making continuation versions of the Lotus Seven, not unlike Caterham or Westfield. It switched from Ford power to Audi in 1996, introduced the D8 in 2003, and has been dialing it up incrementally over the years since to the point that it has consistently clocked lap times below 7:20 at the Nürburgring.
Like the D8 GTO on which it's based, the new RS version is powered by Ingolstadt's 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five, further enhanced by Bosch with new features like launch control and EU6 emissions compliance. Full specifications are still to follow, but considering that Donkervoort has already extracted over 380 horsepower from this engine, we wouldn't be surprised to see this version challenging the 400 hp Audi managed to coax out of the same engine for the new TT RS.
The manufacturer also promises a new suspension with a wider track, upgraded brakes, better build quality, and a higher level of performance all around. Unfortunately only 40 examples will be made – 21 of which have already been spoken for – with a pre-tax sticker price equivalent to $173,000.
A step further, a step bigger, a step more extreme...! At the beginning of the year, the outside world was given a first 'dark' look at the Donkervoort D8 GTO-S, D8 GTO-RS as well as the D8 GTO-R planned for the end of this year. But the veil is being lifted slowly. Donkervoort is now proud to share the first glimpses of the beautiful D8 GTO-RS scheduled for introduction at the end of the summer.
Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS | The return of a legend...
The legendary RS is back! And its ambitions are just as great as those of its predecessor, which drew the world's attention when it set the lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 2004 and 2006.
This will be the ultimate D8 GTO! Completely redesigned over the past two years – both in terms of design and at the technical level. Even meaner, more extreme and slightly larger in size. This is clear at a glance from the design of the nose and front end: the GTO-RS has an even wilder look in its eyes.
Lots of work was also put into the improved aerodynamics, and the engine management of the Audi 2.5L R5 TFSI was optimised with the assistance of long-term partner Bosch for even more acceleration power and driving comfort. In addition to the EU6 application, the collaboration with Bosch also led to several other lap time-enhancing features, such as launch control and a double-clutch function.
Thanks to a new suspension, the GTO-RS has a wider track width, benefits of which include a stronger grip on the front axle. The brake system was also completely redeveloped.
Even more aesthetically refined, higher quality, with greater technical and functional performance; this is also reflected in the new interior of the D8 GTO-RS. Still fully made-to-measure. Also new: the RS is fitted with a carbon fibre tunnel section.
Mind you, despite all these options designed to provide the ultimate and most extreme performance, the D8 GTO-RS remains a completely street-legal sports car with associated comfort level. The lightest and fastest GTO ever built!
The D8 GTO-RS will be introduced in the summer of 2016 as a limited edition of 40 cars and has a starting price of €151,173 excl. taxes. So far, already 21 units have been sold among the Donkervoort Ambassadors in the pre-sale period.