Hell, most people don't even know the car exists.
If car brands went to high school, we have a pretty good idea what the social structure would look like. Ferrari would be the football captain, popular, athletic, and soon to be prom king. He’d date Pagani, the beautiful cheerleading captain who was also voted “most likely to become a model.” Mercedes would be worried about her hair and makeup while Volkswagen would be the video game nerd who knows all the cheat codes. On the outcast table would be Brabus, king of the Goths, and sitting alone in the corner reading poetry and eating a parfait would be Spyker.
No one really knows much about Spyker because he never says much. We know that cool guy Audi is nice to him and Lotus talks to him sometimes. Spyker doesn’t care about typical things like popularity or who’s fastest. So what do we know about Spyker’s C8? For one, the company has had an uphill battle for survival from day one. No wonder the company motto is “Nulla tenaci invia est via,” which means, “For the tenacious no road is impassable.” For Spyker, tenacity has spawned the C8, a car styled with heavy influence from the airplane. This has led to interesting design features. For one, getting in a C8 is a process that requires pushing a switch on the underside of the side mirror since apparently door handles are too un airplane-like.
The aeronautical design also meant that founder and CEO Victor Muller insisted that no steel, carbon fiber, or plastic be used unless necessary. In place of these materials is aircraft-grade aluminum. Thought a small piece of carbon fiber was expensive? Try $50 per aluminum toggle switch in the Spyker C8. Everything from the frame and body to the touch points such as the A/C vents are made of this aluminum, but the use of the expensive material isn’t just for bragging rights, it took serious engineering effort. To make the aluminum space frame, Spyker worked with Coventry Prototype Panels, a company with a long history of working with specialized materials like aluminum on low-volume and high quality applications.
Some of CPPs other customers include Bentley and Rolls Royce, and the company even worked closely with Aston Martin on the development of the One-77. So how does this special frame get motivated? By means of a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 from Audi. Intake ports reminiscent of aircraft vents feed the engine, while exhaust gases pass through a stainless steel exhaust that’s either in rumble or stealth mode. The engine packs 400 horsepower, which means that the car isn’t a slouch. This is odd because CEO Victor Muller says that speed isn’t a priority for Spyker. Instead, the emphasis is on smoothness, which makes things even more strange because Muller went to Lotus when it came time to select a suspension.
Lotus is known for handling, but not exactly for silky smooth ride quality. Like Lotus, Spyker keeps things simple, and there is no better example of that then the lack of all driver aids save for an ABS system. This probably isn’t because Spyker champions driving purity but more due to the fact that the car isn’t intended to live on its limits. Jeremy Clarkson once said that the C8 is more fashion statement than car. When seen through these eyes, it all begins to make more sense. The occasional doughnut helps make this car fun, but the car isn’t intended to make blistering lap times. Instead it just lets everyone know that you either want attention, love airplanes, or have the ultimate ride for hipsters after the fixed-gear bike.