Spyker is back building supercars, unveiling a new third-generation version of its C8 at the Geneva Motor Show. The new model represents a back-from-the-brink return for the firm after it went bust trying to rescue Saab, which it brought from GM in 2010.
Founder and CEO Victor Muller began his Geneva presentation by recalling Enzo Ferrari’s words: ‘What’s behind you doesn’t matter’. Victor went on: ‘What does matter is that we have returned to Geneva with a worthy successor to the C8 Aileron.’
The new car is the made-in-Britain C8 Preliator (Latin for warrior, according to the Spyker boss). As before it’s powered by Audi’s 4.2-litre V8 but now with a supercharger, upping the power to 525bhp and torque to 442 lb ft (600Nm) both of which are sizeable increases over the Aileron.
With standard six-speed manual box – complete with trademark exposed gear linkage – the C8 Preliator is credited with 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 201mph. The new car’s chassis is stiffer. As before the suspension is developed for Spyker by Lotus.
The mid-engined two-seater retains its signature long wheelbase proportions, smooth carbon-fibre body and scissor-doors, but benefits from a host of changes that make the car easier on the eye as well as more aerodynamically efficient.
A very obvious improvement is the ditching of the Aileron’s protruding air pods and replacing them with NACA ducts. Other changes include new headlights and an eye-catching gold-tinted roof canopy for better UV protection.
Inside there are improvements to ergonomics but otherwise it is much as before: a tall-driver-friendly supercar with lots of leather and aluminium, incredible attention to detail and a jet fighter-inspired approach to the switchgear.
Fifty C8 Preliators are to be made (in Coventry), said Victor Muller, and 15 of them have been ordered. The price he said is €324,000 (currently about £250,000).
Spyker started originally in Holland in the 19th century and quickly gained a reputation for innovative road and racing cars, like the 60HP all-wheel drive car, and, later, aeroplanes. Since its reinvention as a supercar manufacturer in 2000 it has enjoyed a strong following, especially at the Festival of Speed where it has been a Supercar Run regular for a decade.
GRR managed to collar Victor for a quick word after the new car’s unveiling…
You started your presentation by saying forget the past…
We don’t want to linger on the bad things we had with Saab. The last two years we were in deep trouble but now we are out of that. Spyker is reborn, in its 16th year. We have 250 people in the company and it is the dawn of a new era.
And you are back in the UK building cars?
We are in the UK where we belong. We started there (in 2000) and should have stayed there. We have moved production from the Netherlands to fantastic new facilities at Coventry Prototype Panels.
What’s Spyker’s place in the supercar world?
We are right up there with the boutique supercar makers like Pagani and Koenigsegg.
How loyal are Spyker owners?
Very loyal. All the cars we have built since 2000 are up and running apart from just two total losses. That’s 267 cars.
Are you up for running the C8 Preliator at the Festival of Speed this year?
If we’re asked, we’ll be there!
What’s on your to-do list?
The first step is to get back into production after not producing any cars for over a year. The next step is the New York Auto Show in a few weeks where we will be announcing a merger with an electric aviation company in Portland, Oregon, that specialises in electric and hybrid power.
Watch this space: the electric Spyker cometh!