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At $185,000 Would You Care To Own This Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70?

This morphodite vehicle is as track capable as it is weird. The “don’t judge a book by its cover” advice applies here in spades. While most auto manufacturers will tout achievements like mileage or horsepower, Donkervoort’s aims are on a different plain. The biggest accomplishment of the D8 GTO-JD70 is that it has the ability to pull 2Gs of lateral grip. On street tires. Donkervoort prefaces that by proclaiming this is the first manufacturer to pull this off. But significant accomplishments come with significant costs. At $185,000 would you care to own this Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70?

No one knows what a Donkervoort is

Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 on the track

That is the price of bragging rights even if no one knows what a Donkervoort is. Do you? While it doesn’t sell cars in the US it became the Dutch arm for the Lotus 7. There was just one problem; the Lotus 7 was illegal to drive in the Netherlands. So one thing led to another and before long the Lotus 7 was an afterthought. Donkervoort started making its own products.

Describing the D8 GTO-JD70 is as difficult as saying “Donkervoort.” There’s some Lotus 7, Plymouth Prowler, and home-built hot rod all morphed together. But as “different” as it looks it’s what is inside that leaves you wanting more.

Power is from a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine that you might recognize as an Audi powerplant. It cranks out 415 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Hooked to a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, any more gear selections would warrant a transmission that exceeds available space. 

The D8 GTO-JD70 has an exceedingly low weight of 1,543 lbs

rear 3/4 view ofDonkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 on the track

As for the chassis, it is a tubular structure with carbon fiber sprinkled around to increase rigidity and reduce weight. All of this contributes to the exceedingly low weight of 1,543 lbs. That’s an exceedingly low weight to be propelled by an engine with over 400 hp. 

Donkervoort has applied a large amount of development to braking. After all, as fast as you want to go at some point you need to stop. After a few evaluations of products that didn’t work as advertised Donkervoort settled on a set of Italian Tarox aftermarket brakes. Also in play are Bosch Motorsport ABS, selectable braking, and controllable traction control.

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Besides the Tarox aftermarket brakes, there is aftermarket power steering. This is the first Donkervoort product to offer this option. As light as the D8 GTO is, we wonder why bother?

Donkervoort is also limiting production to just 70 examples

Audi engine for the 2020Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70

So, as outlandish and odd as the Donkervoort may look to those of us that are stateside, there is nothing odd about its performance. The company is after serious performance. It is also limiting production to just 70 examples. 

So, where all of this leads to is, “how much?” Our sources tell us that $185,000 will just about do it. Unless the exchange rate drops; then all bets are off. And that $185,000 buy-in is just the start. Options available from Donkervoort can increase the bottom line in a hurry. But there is something else to consider when pursuing a Donkervoort. 

As of this week over half of the 70 D8 GTO-JD70’s are already sold. Hmmmm. Whether you like it or hate it there seems to be an invested group of fans that will pay dearly for a uniquely potent street/track car.


side view of 2020Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70