D8 GTO-JD70 R is fastest Donkervoort ever

Donkervoort has already done its 70th birthday celebration; here's the after party

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, October 27, 2020

For most people, the recently announced Donkevoort D8 GTO-JD70 – founder Joop Donkevoort's 70th birthday present to himself – would be more than enough. It is, after all, a car that uses an Audi RS3 engine in something that weighs half as much as an Audi RS3. However, keen to make 2020 as memorable as possible for all the right reasons, the Donkervoort team has gone about eight steps further: this is the JD70 R, a car described as a "the hardcore, uncompromising soul" of Donkervoort and one boasting "hypercar performance and technology" for "only supercar pricing".

Interestingly, power and weight remain identical for the R against the standard JD70, meaning 420hp and 715kg; the focus has been instead on chassis and aerodynamic changes. As it's a track only variant, the JD 70 R is offered with either Nankang slicks or wets, the five-speed manual has been swapped for a six-speed sequential and a Bosch Clubsport ABS system has been fitted, with 12 levels of intervention working on Tarox hardware found in the non-R JD70. That Donkevoort will also sell this car with carbon rims and tyre warming blankets speaks of how serious a prospect it is. This is a car described as "far more aggressive" than the one on which it's based; it being a vehicle capable of 2g laterally…

Suspension now uses adjustable Intrax dampers, with new springs that drop the serpent-like ride heigh another 20mm. Everything that could be stiffer – roll bars, bushes and so on – is, basically. The the end result is a car that's apparently five seconds a lap faster around Spa than the road legal JD70. Or, to put it another way, three seconds ahead of a Koenigsegg Regera.

Because this car will only ever see flat-out track use, Donkervoort has made a fairly dedicated commitment to vehicle safety as well. A six-point harness is standard, as is an FIA race homologated extinguisher, a more substantial roll cage and even a fuel bladder that complies with motorsport regulation. Oh yes, and for "those slightly embarrassing gravel trap moments", the R even comes with new tow hooks front and rear.

The message, then, is simple: the JD70 has been very explicitly designed to be thrashed around any circuit you care to mention, to go faster than anything else out there, return for fuel and then return for more of the same. A set of slicks is meant to last 1,000km and brake pads for five times as long, in fact, so you've no excuse not to…

The price for this track day terroriser is €198,000, €35,000 more than the standard JD70 and £180k at today's exchange rate. Which doesn't take into account, of course, any transportation or storage costs. Still, if Donkervoort is to be believed, you won't go faster for less money. Or, it seems, for an awful lot more, either…

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