From £188,000
Spyker’s latest and - undoubtedly - greatest road car creation

Our Verdict

Spyker C8
Power is provided by a Audi V8 that can be specified to produce up to 600bhp

There's no mistaking the Spyker C8 supercar for something else. Its styling is wild and its interior is sublime

  • First Drive

    Spyker C8 Aileron

    Spyker’s latest and - undoubtedly - greatest road car creation
  • First Drive

    Spyker C8

    Ludicrously expensive and makes little sense, but sounds fabulous.

What is it?

The C8 Aileron is Dutch car company Spyker’s latest and, undoubtedly, its greatest road car creation. It emanates from the same fearless men of orange who, over the last 10 years, have systematically entered and then dropped out of F1, bought Saab and, in the meantime, produced some of the world’s weirdest supercars. Spyker is not, it is fair to summise, your typical sports car company.

To give you an idea what sort of outfit we’re talking about, Spyker’s motto is Nulla Tenaci invia est via. Translated literally this means; For the tenacious no road is impassable. Or to put it another way; anything in life is possible – so long you’ve got the balls for it. And the new £194,000, 395bhp V8 Aileron certainly has plenty of cojones.

Yet beneath its strikingly aggressive, aircraft industry influenced styling – complete with jet turbine wheel design and jet engine inspired air intakes – the C8 is an extremely serious piece of kit. The engine and six-speed semi-auto gearbox have been lifted straight out of an Audi S4 and then tuned to suit Spyker’s needs, while the mid-engined space frame aluminium chassis has been designed and set up for Spyker by Lotus.

Power is 395bhp and torque 354lb ft, and if you think these numbers seem somewhat underwhelming in return for £194,000, you need to understand two key things about the Aileron; one, it is made mostly from aluminium and therefore weighs an impressively lithe 1425kg as a result.

Two, although it’s meant to be a quick car, the Aileron’s prime motivation is not to destroy its opposition with raw speed. Instead, says Spyker, this car is built to charm its audience with a unique combination of style, grace, pace and exclusivity. The fact that it’s not as fast as similarly priced rivals from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin et al doesn’t really matter, as far as Spyker is concerned – because Spyker knows its customers aren’t interested in pure speed.

What does matter, according to Spyker, is how the Aileron car will feel, sound, look and satisfy its small band of merry owners, of which there will be between 80-100 each year, and all of which will already own a small fleet of much faster supercars as well. Spyker’s current client base includes none other than Jennifer Lopez and Missy Elliot, natch.

What’s it like?

In many ways the Aileron is a peculiarly beguiling car, even if it isn’t as quick as you’d expect given its impressive power-to-weight ratio. The good bits include the thunderous noise it makes, the quite extraordinarily exquisite cabin design, the way it steers (which is to say, quite beautifully), and its handling and ride. Oh yes, and its bespoke Louis Vuitton luggage.

Spyker is dead proud of the fact that it is the first car company in the world to persuade Louis Vuitton to make luggage for its cars as an option. Then again, this particular option does cost, deep breath, just under 20,000 euros (17,800). More than anything else, this gives the clearest idea what sort of market the Aileron is aimed at. Namely, the very rich indeed.

The bad bits are the brakes – which are snatchy but powerful at the moment but are due to be reworked on by AP before the car goes on sale anyway – the slightly unamazing straight line performance, the poor rear visibility and, of course, the seemingly bonkers showroom price.

It’s only when you climb into and drive the Aileron that the justification for such pricing becomes apparent, however. But when you “get” the Aileron, when you discover how beautifully made it is inside and out, and appreciate just how much craftsmanship has gone into its creation, the price no longer seems quite so silly. In fact, it almost starts to seem like good value.

Should I buy one?

Only if you are very rich and very confident in your own sense of taste – and very happy to be gawped at wherever you go. It would also help if you were as pleasantly unhinged as the good people from Spyker itself, too. And if all those boxes are ticked then, yes, what’s not to like about a car as beguiling as this?

Join the debate

Comments
26

31 March 2010

It's nice to see a car company that have ignored the horsepower race and created something a bit different. Plus I love the interior especially the exposed gearbox linkage.

31 March 2010

Very attractive looking car....love the finest details.....amazing interiors...very special....

31 March 2010

Without the comedy air scoop styling this would be to die for. A car for people who may own a Bristol as they get older. 'Don't just buy a car, have one made', as they say.

PaulJ

31 March 2010

Whatever your view is about the styling (I personally think it looks great), there can be no doubt that this is one truly exquisite car, as are most Spykers. The stunning interior, amazingly, appears to make a 458, Vantage and Gallardo look mass-market, while a 911, SLS and R8 just look plain and cheap. As for a GTR or a Corvette......

31 March 2010

I really like it. It's so different in a Lemony Snicket alternate universe kinda way. Id like one.. if I had that kinda money burning a hole in my pocket

31 March 2010

Like the exterior styling, although in many respects it is very Lotus. However, I have seen more tasteful interiors in Gypsy caravans. OTT.

31 March 2010

For sheer looks and pace, I'd have a V8 Vantage (maybe even the V12) or a Jag XK8/XKR, but, stupid aero-engine air intakes notwithstanding, there is something uniquely charming about the Aileron. I wish they'd give it a proper manual gearbox, though. Mind you, that interior is gorgeous - could one still spec the old Spyker wheel (the four-blade aeroplane propeller with a ring around it, all chrome-plated)? Nice to see they've also given this one air vents (and I love those rocker switches, too). This is perhaps the most bonkers cabin this side of a Pagani Zonda, and yet somehow it's much nicer-looking. Here's hoping they sell loads of them, for Saab's sake if nothing else.

Gentlemen, keep smoking that waccy baccy. You're making new cars fun again.

31 March 2010

yes, but its dutch. are daf trucks dutch. who makes daf engines. who owns daf. shall i wikipedia daf. what happened to dutch football. it was all the rage at one time.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

31 March 2010

Yuck ! Looks like the offspring of a three way between an Aston Martin , a Jaguar and a TVR ......................................

1 April 2010

[quote blktoy]Looks like the offspring of a three way between an Aston Martin , a Jaguar and a TVR ......................................[/quote]

That would be many peoples idea of heaven :o)

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run