When it was founded in 2000, the Dutch firm Spyker borrowed its name from an early 20th century airplane engine manufacturer and quickly translated that history into the design language of its first supercar, the C8. The wheels, steering column, and switchgear all recall 1920s airplanes and help Spyker distinguish itself in a field of ultra-modern exotics. The C8 was introduced along with the founding of the new company and has seen minor refreshes ever since.
In its current incarnation, most versions of the C8 are powered by an Audi-made, 4.2-liter V8 engine that generates 400 hp and 354 foot-pounds of torque. The engine is quick enough to reach 60 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph. A GT-class version of the car, known as the C8 Spyder GT2R, uses a 3.8-liter engine that generates a lower 310 foot-pounds of torque but ups its raw horsepower to 450, resulting in a quicker 3.8-second dash to 60 mph with the same top speed.
Every version of Spyker's mainstay car currently relies on a six-speed manual transmission; the relative youth and small size of the company has so far prevented the firm from integrating sequential manuals or other alternatives into its cars.
Current trim options: Spyder, Laviolette, GT2R
Spyker's original and most common variant on the C8 is the Spyder convertible, which can be equipped with either a cloth top or a semi-permanent hardtop. Few interior extras are available: there are no satellite navigation systems or other extras that sometimes come with other supercars.
At present, a coupe version known as the C8 Laviolette is also available: it swaps the detachable top for a fixed glass canopy that exposes nearly all of the cabin to direct sunlight. Those fortunate enough to buy the car can pick from either a standard short wheelbase (SWB) version with a 75-liter (16.5-gallon) fuel tank or a larger, long wheelbase (LWB) edition with a 100-liter (22-gallon) tank for longer drives.
The GT2R is Spyker's race car and was built primarily with the 24-hour Le Mans race in mind. Aside from the more powerful engine, the GT2R strips out most of the luxury trim and adds both an aerodynamic hardtop as well as a large rear wing spoiler for added downforce.
Spyker makes some of the most unique exotics in the world - and the C8 is no exception. As such, finding competitors is all but impossible, but from a pricing and performance perspective some may want to consider the Ferrari California, Aston Martin DBS Volante or Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.