Cars

Clearing the Runway for the Spyker C8 Laviolette

Dutch automaker Spyker Cars re-emerged in the year 2000 with several nods to the former aviation company based in the Netherlands. In the early days of the 20th century, Spyker also produced several race cars. Hence, their heritage is full of airplanes as well as racing. 

Manufactured from 2001 to 2009, the Spyker C8 Laviolette is a unique hardtop coupe supercar that you may not know much about. They are extremely rare. For starters, a fighter pilot is responsible for the design of the C8.

Beyond that, the Spyker C8 Laviolette features a mid-mounted Audi 4.2L V8 engine with rear-wheel drive. Its fixed glass canopy features a fully functional aluminum roof-mounted air intake.

With 395 horsepower, this stylish supercar can reach a top speed of at least 186 miles per hour. Tipping the scales at approximately 1,275 kg (2,810 lbs), the C8 Laviolette features an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Specs vary by the source, but most early C8 Laviolette models are right around this range. 

Unofficial performance specifications boast a 0 to 60 miles per hour time of 4.5 seconds. Since the Spyker C8 features an aluminum frame, many lightweight advantages roll right along with it. From acceleration to handling, the C8 Laviolette offers an exhilarating driving experience. 

Unofficial Spyker C8 Laviolette Specs

  • 0-60 MPH – 4.5 Seconds
  • 0-100 MPH – 11.4 Seconds
  • ¼ Mile – 13.3 Seconds

When the naturally aspirated engine fires up, you’ll hear the purr through the shiny Spyker-stamped exhaust tips. Give the C8 a little throttle and you’ll hear the tight exhaust note of a complex V8 engine through a throaty growl. This supercar comes standard with a racing spirit.

It can definitely handle the track as well. In fact, Spyker built a racing version of the C8 Laviolette, the Double 12 R, for the 24 Hours of LeMans race. Later, they built an updated version, the C8 Laviolette GT2R, which placed 5th at LeMans.

Handbuilt to Perfection

This exotic Dutch masterpiece features superior craftsmanship achieved through careful handbuilt precision, inside and out. You may never see one in person, but if you get the chance, take notice of the attention to detail.

Exterior styling is sporty and elegant. From the twin exhaust pipes extruding from the middle of the rear to the tail lights, the back end always leaves a trail of gawkers. Everybody wants to know what this is, if they ever see one. 

A smooth front end featuring in-design headlights is a common style of the era. Follow the accents and body lines down the side to find functional air inlets leading to the middle-rear of the car. Then, pop the scissor style doors open to reveal a one-of-a-kind interior experience.

Aircraft inspired styling includes aeronautical gauges throughout the instrument cluster. This is clearly paying homage to Spyker’s history. From plated steel to the click of a quality switch, get ready for liftoff in the Spyker C8 Laviolette.

After admiring the gauge cluster, you will instantly notice the exposed gear shift linkage, a surprisingly clean look. This linkage connects to a Getrag ZF 6-Speed manual transmission, a smooth and durable gearbox. Seeing how the linkage works while enjoying the drive is the envy of any gearhead. 

The Spyker C8 Laviolette’s interior is also plush with a luxurious finish. Premium leather stitching highlights the experience for both drivers and passengers. This is a snug yet comfortable cockpit, true to an exotic supercar experience.

Taking the Spyker C8 Laviolette to the Extreme

There are other road-versions of the Spyker C8 Laviolette available, inspired by the aforementioned race cars. There is a reason for this, the name itself is a tribute to Belgian engineer Joseph Valentin Laviolette. He developed several Spyker race cars in the early 1900s.

In the early years (2002-2007), Spyker produced the Double 12S, a road-legal version of the Double 12R race car. Available with 5 different stages of tuning, it squeezes anywhere from 400 to 620 bhp from a modified 4.0L Audi V8. With stage 5 tuning, the Double 12S can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.

There is also the Laviolette LM85 produced by Spyker from 2009 to 2012. This is a road-legal version of the Spyker GT2-R race car. There are only 24 in existence, one for each hour of the 24 Hour LeMans event. 

On top of that, the LM part of the name refers to the LeMans race. The number 85 is the Spyker Squadron racing team’s preferred number. Production of the LM85 is also limited to only 24 examples.

From 2008 to 2012, Spyker produced the Laviolette LWB, or long wheelbase version of the C8 as well. It simply features a longer wheelbase by 3.9 inches. When consumers demanded a more spacious interior, Spyker responded with the LWB.

Not Easy to Land

If you find yourself approaching the runway for a Spyker C8 Laviolette, prepare for a rough landing. By estimation, there are only a little over 300 Spykers in existence. Tough to find, but not impossible.

If you do see a standard Spyker C8 Laviolette for sale, expect values from $220,000 and up, depending on condition. Current European listings suggest a slightly higher ceiling, up to $350,000. A Double 12S with stage V tuning fetches close to half a million dollars or more in pristine condition.

Driving the Spyker C8 Laviolette is an extraordinary experience. Finding one takes patience and persistence. To many it is worth the airfare for the chance to take flight in a Spyker.

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