In the rarefied world of supercars, some names stand alone. Ferrari. Bugatti. Lamborghini. But there are all kinds of boutique automakers producing small numbers of outrageously expensive and stunningly quick cars, and Spyker has to be one of the coolest.
The Dutch company has been building sports cars at a rate of about 60 per year since 2000, but its history dates to 1875 when it started making coaches — horse-drawn coaches. It switched to automobiles in 1898 and turned out airplanes during World War I. Spyker folded in 1925 and was little more than an automotive footnote until the late 1990s, when Dutch lawyer Victor Muller resurrected the name. Spyker unveiled its latest car, the C8 Aileron Spyder, last month at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California.
The C8 Aileron Spyder is handmade from aluminum, and the design draws from the company’s aviation heritage. People will either love the styling or hate it. Yet it is more subdued than the C8 Aileron hardtop, which has more scoops than Baskin-Robbins. The Spyder, like the hardtop, has excellent proportions and a beautiful silhouette, though some might think it looks a bit like a catfish from the front.Power comes from a 400 horsepower 4.2-liter V8 engine pulled from the Audi parts bin. It is mounted in the middle of the car, where it belongs, and mated to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual with a beautiful explosed shift linkage (shown above). A very burly security guard with no sense of humor prevented us from seeing how the shifter action feels. The turned aluminum panels, machined switches and polished metal give the interior an industrial chic. Anyone wealthy enough to buy the car — Spyker hasn’t released the price, but the hardtop starts at $214,000 — can choose from among 14 colors for the leather interior. There’s also an optional set of Louis Vuitton luggage set because you wouldn’t want your bags clashing with your car.