Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 R: The Fastest Wrapper (and Strangest Name) for Audi’s Five-Cylinder Turbo
And that’s an understatement.
Joop A. Donkervoort started out as a Lotus Seven importer, only to find along the way that in order for the lightweight Lotuses to be road legal in continental Europe, he had to modify every last one of them. This tinkering led to him elevating Colin Chapman's concept to such levels that by 1978, he had to market them as Donkervoort S7s. Nowadays, these unique creations are the fastest and possibly wildest-looking packages for Audi's five-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Using Ford power for over two decades in his unique cars, Donkervoort switched to Audi turbos in 1999. Upgraded to the 2.5-liter five-cylinders with 2013's GTOs, Donkervoorts of today use patented Ex-Core carbon fiber bodies over a tubular frame, side pipes for a more visceral experience, a well built and ergonomic cabin, and in case you happen to be Joop Donkervoort, none of the optional power steering or ABS under the green body panels Autocar's Matt Prior got to check out:
While the Donkervoort D8 GTO has been around since 2013, the "regular" Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 was created for 2019 as a 70-unit special run celebrating company founder Joop Donkervoort's 70th birthday. In 2002, the wildest Dutch carmaker since reverse-racing pioneer DAF followed up with a track version called the JD70 R, which combines a fire-breathing 2.5-liter Audi five-cylinder tuned to 415 horsepower with a two-seater weighing 1,598 pounds. Using a six-speed sequential gearbox and Nankang racing slicks, the D8 GTO-JD70 R pulls with 1.2 G of longitudinal acceleration from a standing start, and will hit your body with up to 2.25 G of lateral acceleration through the corners.
With this being the road car, the D8 GTO-JD70 R brings such track junkie favorites to the table such as Tarox six-piston brakes with race pads in all corners, a 12-stage racing ABS system, a shorter steering rack with optional power steering, four-way adjustable dampers, stiffer springs, bushes, and anti-roll bars, the six-speed sequential box, racing slicks and an AIM digital color display connected to the SmartyCam system, so the video recordings can also carry telemetry data such as the speed, G forces, and tire temperatures.
The JD70 R also comes with a Bilster Berg roll cage and six-point harnesses, a fire-safety system, a full FIA-homologated bladder-style tank featuring fuel-absorbing foam, or a new Kevlar-carbon-fibre protection “blanket” to add a very strong layer of fuel-spill protection. The latter is not only cheaper than a bladder tank, but also road legal and capable of being retrofitted into any D8 GTO model. Handy!
That's 415 horsepower, 383 pound-feet of torque, a 2.7 second rush to 62 mph, then 2.25 g through the corners and to a top speed of 174 mph, all for a base price of $230,000 (€198,000). Please note that if I say this Dutch one is the fastest package for Audi's five-cylinder turbo, you are encouraged to jump into Austria's 530-horsepower KTM X-Bow GTX and tell us about it afterward.
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