While most of the world's sports-car builders want to wrap their customers in Alcantara and a mini-multiplex of touchscreens, a few builders bravely move the opposite direction towards lightness and speed above any notion of comfort. Joop Donkervoort of the Netherlands is one such trailblazer, and the Donkervoort D8 GTO shows the benefits of not following the crowd.
While Donkervoort has been building bespoke cars for three decades, the GTO is an all-new design, meant to herald where the company sees its future. Powered by a 2.5-liter turbo five-cylinder from Audi spinning 340 hp, the GTO only weighs 1,540 lbs. -- about half what even compact cars waddling off the assembly lines carry around. To hit that weight, there's no roof and few creature comforts; the only sop to modern rules is electronic traction control.
That combination of mass and force should produce accelerations that would put the Donkervoort in the forefront of European sports cars; the GTO will do zero to 60 mph in about 3 seconds, and on to a top speed of 160 mph. The company says the first 25 GTOs will be special editions complete with a "race" switch that squeezes an extra 60 hp from the engine. The everyday models will arrive in 2013, with prices starting around $130,000. Slide Show