If you haven't heard the name Spyker before, we suspect you'll hear it a lot more from now on as the aspiring Dutch Supercar maker is now trading in the black, has some aggressive new cars such as the Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV) entering the marketplace, and is just about to begin competing in the most visible sporting event on the planet – Formula One. Spyker purchased the Midland F1 team, did a deal to secure Ferrari engines and hired Mike Gascoine as Chief Technical Officer – the group clearly doesn't wish to remain in a rear field position. At Geneva, Spyker and Zagato announced the Spyker C12 Zagato, a limited edition of 24 sports cars. The idea for the car came from a discussion between Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, and Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato, at the Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza. "Last April, at Villa d'Este, we sat down and discussed the increasing market demand for truly one-off and limited edition super sport cars," said Muller. "In a certain sense the modern market is not unlike the 1930's, where wealthy customers would order exotic bespoke designs from high-end coach builders on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Delage, Delahaye and Isotta-Fraschini chassis, just to mention a few." Norihiko Harada, Zagato's Automotive Chief Designer, and Muller co-operated closely to design the rear wheel drive sports car, based on the Spyker C12 Spyder. The C12 is powered by the 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder, 500 bph W12 engine from Volkswagen and is equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic gear box with F1 style shifting, Chronoswiss instruments and a Zagato designed full leather interior with brushed aluminium instrument panel. The C12 Zagato has an aluminium body with stainless steel roof rails and has many F1 derived design details such as an F1 nose, air scoop, chimneys, mirrors, rain light, fuel flap and diffuser. It has a panoramic roof that features the Double Bubble, a typical Zagato style element. Top speed is 310 km/h (193 mph). Victor Muller comments: "At the age of 18 I acquired my first Zagato bodied car: a Lancia Flavia Zagato rally car in dire need of restoration. Ever since that date, some 30 years ago, I have been in love with the unique and distinctive designs penned by this noble design house. Many Zagato bodied cars have followed the Lancia Flavia and I am proud to still have a number of Zagatos in my collection. The co-operation and partnership between Spyker and Zagato is entirely logical if one looks at the rich heritage both companies share in the fields of aviation and racing. A better fit of aesthetics, skill and passion would be hard to find. Two brothers, Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coach builders in Amsterdam, built their first Benz- engined motor car in 1898 and won immediate acclaim for the supreme craftsmanship of their bodywork. In the period prior to World War I, a worldwide slump in the luxury car market meant that Spyker had to diversify its production, and so it merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V. This combined company evolved its business model and started developing and building aircraft. After the war Spyker was able to return to its roots and resumed car production in 1919. True to its motto ‘Nulla tenaci invia est via' (‘For the tenacious no road is impassable'), Spyker continued building record- breaking cars which now featured extensive aircraft influences, including sophisticated aerodynamics absorbed from the aircraft building years. Similarly, Zagato was established at the end of World War I by Ugo Zagato, putting aircraft industry construction techniques to use in the expanding market for passenger vehicles. Just like the Spyker cars, Zagato's cars were advanced in design and became synonymous with light weight and excellent aerodynamics.
Victor Muller continues: "Andrea and myself have known each other for many years and met at events such as Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza on numerous occasions. Last April, at Villa d'Este, we sat down and discussed the increasing market demand for truly one-off and limited edition super sport cars. In a certain sense the modern market is not unlike the 1930's, where wealthy customers would order exotic bespoke designs from high-end coach builders on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Delage, Delahaye and Isotta-Fraschini chassis, just to mention a few." Zagato established its name by designing exquisite cars for Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in particular, but it is probably the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato that best represents the artistic expertise of what they do. Andrea and I agreed to meet each other in Arese and to define what a Spyker Zagato would have to embody. In view of market demand, it was decided to use Spyker's flagship chassis, the C12, as a basis - its space-frame being exceptionally suitable for crafting a bespoke body onto."
After the initial design meeting in July 2006, it became apparent that Spyker would succeed in acquiring the Midland Formula 1 team and design activities were suspended until early October when that transaction had been consummated. "With the F1 team part of the Spyker Group it was decided that the C12 Zagato should embody as many of the Formula 1 design cues as practically possible so as to set a new design vision for future Spyker road car models." In the months following, Spyker and Zagato finalized the design and the manufacturing of the C12 Zagato was entrusted to Spyker's long time fabrication partner, Coventry Prototype Panels in Coventry, UK. Under the guidance of Brendan O'Toole, CPP's Managing Director, and Étienne Beijersbergen van Henegouwen, Spyker's Project Manager, the vehicle was built by a dedicated Spyker and CPP crew from aluminium in an amazing 4 weeks.
Spyker C12 Zagato: the vehicle The Spyker C12 Zagato is an all aluminium rear wheel drive sports car, based on the Spyker C12 Spyder. The C12 is powered by the 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder, 500 bph W12 engine from Volkswagen AG and accelerates from 0-100 km (0-60 mph) in 3.8 seconds. The Spyker C12 Zagato is equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic gear box with F1 style shifting, Chronoswiss instruments and a Zagato designed full leather interior with brushed aluminium instrument panel. The C12 Zagato has an aluminium body with stainless steel roof rails and has many F1 derived design details such as an F1 nose, air scoop, chimneys, mirrors, rain light, fuel flap and diffuser. It has a panoramic roof that features the Double Bubble, a typical Zagato style element. The Spyker C12 Zagato has a length of 4.5 m, a width of 2.02 m excluding mirrors, a height of 1.25 m and weighs 1480 kg. The fuel tank capacity is 70 litres (15.4 gallons). Top speed is 310 km/h (193 mph). "The Spyker and Zagato Atelier brands perfectly align because of their common aeronautical origins and because of the shared passion of Victor Muller and myself for sports cars" states Andrea Zagato. "Nevertheless Victor, before starting this extraordinary adventure with Spyker, was a Zagato collector owning cars like the Flaminia SS and TZ. Together with our neo-classical approach, this Spyker C12 Zagato shows the capabilities of Zagato Atelier for innovative and non conventional solutions." Norihiko Harada, designer of the new Spyker C12 Zagato, adds: "All Spyker cars have their own very unique style: the aeronautical retrospective style co-exists with craftsmanship and elegance. The new Zagato body becomes even more unique, aggressive and sensual at the same time. It features a new double bubble panoramic roof , F1 influenced nose and air intakes, chimney and a "coda tronca", the typical Zagato cut off tail end. Maintaining Spyker's styling philosophy, Zagato design put all these elements together and created an extremely stimulating example of contemporary exotic high performance sports car by using typical modern Zagato lines which started from the Raptor Zagato in 1996." The Spyker C12 Zagato will retail for EUR 495,000 (excluding any taxes, ex factory). Spyker F8-VII: 2007 livery reveal
Besides the C12 Zagato, Spyker also presented on their Geneva International Motor Show stand the Spyker F8-VII Formula One car. The F8-VII made its first public appearance in front of a huge crowd of media and sponsor guests on February 5, 2007 at the Silverstone race circuit in the UK in a bright orange launch colour. The car displayed at Geneva carried the new revised livery for the 2007 season and revealed how the two F1 cars will look when they line up on the Melbourne grid for the first race of the season on March 18th.
Managing director and team principal Colin Kolles predicts a ‘transition year' for the team, with a focus in the early part of the year on improved reliability and performance, before a big step forward with a revised B-spec car for the second part of the year. The team has been preparing for the season with an exclusive two-day shakedown at Silverstone and extensive testing in both Valencia and Barcelona. On March 1, 2007, it concluded its final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain. Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer, commented: "We've now finished our pre-season testing programme – an excellent effort from all back at the factory and at the track. Although we know we are lacking some pace, I think we can be very proud of the improvements we've made. We now go to Melbourne in good shape aiming for a strong and consistent performance, so well done to all, including both our race drivers, for all their hard work over the testing period."
Michiel Mol, Director of Formula One Racing explains: "We know that we're not going to see overnight results here. It's not going to be a short turn around and we have to be realistic about what we can achieve. You cannot change a team in a year, you cannot expect to have podiums in our first season. We have to manage those expectations; we want to aim for points in the latter part of the year. For us, 2007 will be a transition year as we're laying the foundations for 2008. We'll see Mike Gascoyne's influence start to kick in mid-season so the real results of our involvement won't be seen until next year."
The 17-race season will get underway in Melbourne, Australia, from 16 – 18 March 2007. Spyker will challenge its rivals in this most demanding motor-sport environment with the support of its many partners: Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris Also Spyker revealed the first pre-production Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris, the industry's first Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV), the prototype of which was unveiled last year at the Geneva International Motor Show. After extensive endurance, durability and weather testing in the course of the coming summer, production of the D12 will commence in December 2007 for deliveries beginning in Europe in Spring 2008 at an estimated price point of EUR 235,000. The SSUV was named after the historic Peking to Paris raid of 1907, the most gruelling automotive challenge of its time, in which a Frenchman, Charles Goddard, entered his almost standard, factory- backed, Spyker 18/22 HP. On 10 June 1907 five cars set out on what was to become an unprecedented challenge to man and machine, to prove that the motor-car had come of age and was capable of carrying men and equipment from the farthest reaches of the world back to Paris. Goddard finished second after crossing terrain where, for the most part, no car had ever dared to go. The D12 SSUV has been named in honour of this historic achievement and to celebrate the pioneering spirit it embodied: the desire to chart uncharted territory. Exactly 100 years later history is about to repeat itself. From June 10 to August 10, 2007 a Spyker vehicle will once again compete in a Peking to Paris raid. The authentic 1907 Spyker owned and driven by Stijnus Schotte of The Netherlands will set off from eastern China to retrace the tyre tracks of Charles Goddard and arrive in Paris on August 10th having proved once again the quality and driveability of Spyker cars and the passion of their owners. A D12 SSUV will be present at both the start line and the finish in Paris to portray the new breed of Spyker vehicle and to celebrate a new century of daring and dramatic Spyker cars. Spyker C12 Zagato Engine W12 Capacity 5998 cc Power 368 kW (500 bhp) Torque 610 Nm Maximum revolutions 6500 rpm Options Compressor version 650 bhp Sizes and Weights KERB weight 1480 kg Wheelbase 2680 mm Front track 1574 mm Rear track 1728 mm Length 4505 mm Width (ex mirrors) 2031 mm Height 1250 mm Fuel tank capacity 70 litres ( 15.4 gallon) Performance Top speed 320 km/h (200 mph) Acceleration 0- 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds) Expected date of introduction: March 2008