Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The Dutch Supercar You've Never Heard of That's Setting Race-Track Records

Tourists know Flevoland in the Netherlands for its flat fields and dikes. Petrolheads, meanwhile, know it for a small business that employs 30 people. Donkervoort Automobielen produces 40 high-powered race-bred sports cars a year that boast top speeds of up to 168mph (270kmh). With a starting price tag of 153,000 euros ($162,000), the hand-built luxury D8 GTO was developed over two and a half years. It’s even cemented a long-term guest appearance in Microsoft’s Xbox 'Forza' video games. The real-life two-seat auto eschews modern driving aids such anti-lock braking and power steering. This helps deliver an impressive power-to-weight ratio – a favorite specification for those with a need for speed. Say hello to one of the fastest street-legal cars in existence. Photographs by Jasper Juinen for Bloomberg

The steel tubing of the D8 GTO chassis is both laser-cut and welded on-site in the workshop, resulting in a chassis weight of 54kg (119 pounds).

The shock absorbers, by Dutch suspension specialists Intrax, provide stability as the D8 GTO powers from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 2.8 seconds.

The electronic wiring for each automobile is made and fitted by hand.

A vintage 1981 S8A car stands on display in the servicing area of the facility. Production of this model ceased in 1993.

Bespoke seating is custom-made for each car, with clients able to dictate upholstery finishes, color, and even stitching patterns. 

At the heart of the lightweight 700kg (1,540 pounds) D8 GTO body is a specially stripped-down Audi AG 2.5L R5 TFSI engine.

A mechanic works in the assembly area.

The nose panel of a classic Donkervoort D8 sits on the floor of the servicing area of the workshop in Lelystad.

A mechanic works on the restoration of a vintage S7. With a 1.6-litre Ford engine and four-speed gearbox, the S7 held a top speed of 105mph.

Around 90 percent of the G8 GTO's body is made from carbon fibre, with all components developed and produced in-house.

The one-piece door of the D8 GTO weighs just 980 grams (2.1 pounds). Using technology derived from the aerospace industry, the hinges can withstand a mass of more than 1,100kg.

One of the finishing touches to a D8 GTO is the handcrafted sheet metal exhaust guard that runs along the bottom of the body.

The completed D8 GTO Premium model comes with a starting price tag of 163,000 euros ($173,000). 

A D8 GTO Bilster Berg speeds through a Dutch polder. It can reach the 124mph (200kmh) mark in just 8.6 seconds.

The D8 GTO Bilster Berg Edition was created to commemorate the setting of the lap record for street-legal cars at Germany's Bilster Berg race circuit. A limited series of 14 cars sold out, with a starting price of 194,000 euros ($205,000).