In today’s world hot-rodding has left its’ grass-roots settings and become an art form. Much like the art world, there are several categories of hot rods; Rats, Boulevard Cruisers, and Gassers, just to name a few. Once in a while though, something comes along to really shake up the industry, and this shaker is called the Donkervoort D8 GTO. Much like Andy Warhol did with his Campbell’s soup cans, the Dutch-born Donkervoort Automobielen car company offers us their take on modernizing a classic design.
This isn’t the first time it has been done (Anyone recall the famed Plymouth Prowler based on preliminary designs by Chip Foose?), but the extent to which a classic design has been modernized hasn’t been pushed quite this far.
What began as a think-tank of Donkervoort & Audi design teams on how to create the ultimate European hot rod came to life two and a half years later.
On the outside you’ll notice many styling cues reminiscent of hot rods past such as the open-suspension front wheels and the low-to-the-ground stance. However that is about where the similarities end. Everything in (and on) the D8 GTO are completely modern and even futuristic.
Take, for example, the doors. Not only do they open much like the Koenigsegg in an upwards scissor motion, but they are one solid piece with integrated hinges and are able to withstand an impact force of over 2,400 pounds. All of this while weighing in at a scant 980 grams or 2.16 pounds.
Another example of modern technology shoe-horned into a classic design is the powerplant. Based on an Audi 2.5 liter TFSI engine, the motor creates a respectable 340 horsepower. With the flick of a ‘race module’ switch in the two-seaters’ cockpit, the output is bumped up to 400 horsepower and 331 ft/lbs of torque.
Designed in correlation with aviation experts; the dash features only a few switches and gauges, as well as a fully digital display reminiscent of modern Formula 1 cars.
Utilizing a tubular steel design brought together with large carbon composites, this creates an ultra-light yet amazingly rigid frame.As is normally said, ‘Art is in the eye of the beholder’; and the Donkervoort D8 GTO is no different.
While many may hem and haw about how this is not a ‘real’ hot rod, we have to respect the origins from which it came. And for the low price of only 100,000 to 150,000 Euros, or roughly $130,000 to $190,000 dollars at today’s currency rates, you too can own a drivable piece of art.Another shining example of modern tech is the frame of the car.