Stryking Spyker

“For the tenacious, no road is impassable.”

For the lover of handcrafted performance cars, no Spyker is undesirable.

The Dutch-designed and handbuilt sports car, bearing the Latin motto, “Nulla tenaci envia est via,” is now available at Motorsports of Scottsdale/ Lamborghini of Scottsdale, Raintree and Hayden roads. The Spyker C8 Spyder convertible starts at $269,995 and the C8 Laviolette coupe at $292,500.

These are high-performance, low-production two-seater mid-engines very much at the Ferrari and Lamborghini pinnacle, with naturally aspirated all-aluminum Audi V8 engines, fueled through eight injection throttle bodies and four overhead camshafts and five valves per cylinder. The output is about 400 horsepower, 480 pounds of torque, and a redline at about 7,500 rpm. Stainless steel four-into-one high-performance exhausts exit from both sides of the engine.

Jay Leno owns one, as well as other celebrities. “The Spyker buyer is somebody who wants exclusivity, who appreciates high-quality craftsmanship and has probably owned a Ferrari or Lamborghini before,” says Motorsports General Manager Ros de Giaxa. “The Spyker driver is someone who needs a car which you don’t see a second one next to you at a traffic light.”

Almost anyone at the light will be seeing Spyker taillights: With a top speed of 187 miles per hour, the light 2,805-pound vehicle accelerates 0–60 mph in about 4.5 seconds through either a sequential or manual six-speed gearbox without electronic intervention.

Although lesser known to many enthusiasts, the Spykers have heritage as well as exclusivity, performance, and craftsmanship. The company traces itself to the Dutch brothers, Spijker, who in 1898 began mating their highly crafted coachworks with Benz engines, producing such memorable vehicles as the golden state coach for the coronation of Queen Wilhelmina. That custom vehicle is still being used today.

Other successes followed: the 1903 60/80 HP — the first car with a six-cylinder engine as well as permanent four-wheel drive and four-wheel brakes; the 1907 Spyker 14/18HP Tourer, which placed second in the Peking to Paris Race, driven continuously for three months over territory previously unknown to cars; the 1921 Spyker C4, with its Wilhelm Maybach-powered engine and Bosch magneto, setting a new endurance record over 36 days and 30,000 kilometers; and the S.F. Edge-piloted Spyker C4 which broke a 24-hour record on July 19 and 20, 1922. This performance has, in fact, inspired the company’s contemporary racecar, the Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R.

The company is also establishing a racing heritage, as a Spyker has since 2006 been entered in both Formula One, with races in Shanghai, China, Susuka, Japan, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, Spain, Monaco as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For its racing cars, Spyker has agreed to a four-year deal with Ferrari, which will supply V8 engines as well as technical assistance and has signed Dutch driver Christian Albers and German driver Adrian Sutil to drive for 2007.

Air Meets Automotive

About the time of World War I, Spyker had merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V., taking on the Latin motto and a logo with a spoke wheel and a horizontal propeller. The melding of automotive and aircraft aerodynamics is exemplified by the 1919 Aerocoque with its fuselage body and winglike fintail; this continues today with designs and details that suggest flight and speed.

Flight and speed: The design excellence and performance won the Spyker the 2000 award for engineering excellence by the Institute of Vehicle Engineers after the British Motor Show unveiled it Oct. 18, 2000. For instance, the doors tilt by way of electrically operated single hinges. Spyker has installed luggage compartment in the front and rear, including two Connolly leather suitcases.

Other details, such as the lack of a header rail on the convertible windshield, provide an open-cockpit, embrace-the-outdoors exhilaration. The aluminum craftsmanship throughout is outstanding, with every body panel (from the U.K.’s Coventry Prototype Panels) numbered, identifying it as belonging to its chassis. The airplane heritage is particularly evident in the dashboard and instrument panel, beautifully offset by the Connolly leather trim. The Aeroblade steering wheel is also aluminum, covered in Hulshof leather riveted onto the rim and featuring two propellers. Drivers can also select Aeroblade magnesium wheels with five propellers to further celebrate the aircraft legacy.

Personalization drives every vehicle. Each car carries a buildsheet to the buyer’s specs, and owners can continually watch the progress of their car on a personalized web page.

A wide range of body colors as well as leather trim is available. Buyers can also select a wide variety of options such as Phillips xenon headlights; F1-approved safety fuel bags integrated in left and right inner chassis members; a Louis Vuitton luggage set; even a Chronoswiss watch and one of 50 Koga Aeroblade bicycles.

Throughout, the emphasis is on performance and road-racing capability, even if this is the owner’s local freeway or racecourse. The vehicle’s aluminum body carries fully adjustable F1-style independent suspension, with Koni in-board shock absorbers. All uprights are machined from solid aluminum billets. Streamlining is essential, by way of enclosed undersides and the floor section, which creates a down force both through the front splitter plate and the rear diffuser.

The rear-wheel-drive Spyker is standard with switchable traction control (ASR) as well as ABS and offers an optional limited-slip differential. The twin-circuit brake system is standard with adjustable brake balance. Six-piston aluminum brake calipers are at the front, while four-piston aluminum brake calipers are at the rear. Brake discs are ventilated. The forged ATS alloy rims feature central locknuts, with 18-inch 40 ZR front tires and 18-inch 35ZR 18s on the rear.

The wait is just about three or four months for a Spyker C8 or Laviolette. Other models are on the way, including the C12 LaTurbie (0–60 in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph); an SUV; and an automatic (pedal shifter) transmission.

Also expected soon is the D12 Peking-to-Paris, commemorating the great race as well as the racing heritage of the Spyker. The all-aluminum super-sports vehicle will provide 500 horsepower and 0–60 times at around five seconds and a top speed in the vicinity of 185 mph. A six-speed automatic will feature a multi-functional steering wheel with Formula 1-style shift paddles as well as a triple dashboard in the style of a cockpit.

Outstanding heritage. Racing-inspired design and old-fashioned craftsmanship. World-class performance. And exclusivity even the other great sports cars cannot claim: “The Spyker is a stand-alone design,” de Giaxa says. “It is a car that will not get old fashioned — continually providing a motoring experience that is always fresh and altogether exhilarating.”

Motorsports of Scottsdale 480.483.9300