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The Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 will melt your face in the corners

Said to be the first production car to exceed 2G when cornering

This is not a toy—it’s a real-world track weapon. PHOTO FROM DONKERVOORT

Holland-based sports car maker Donkervoort has just released its latest sports car, the D8 GTO-JD70. Just like many words in the Dutch language, the vehicle’s moniker is quite a mouthful with “JD70” paying tribute to the 70th birthday of the company’s founder, Joop Donkervoort. Tongue-twisting names aside, the D8 GTO-JD70 is a car capable of giving drastic facial makeovers to those who drive it.

That’s because Donkervoort claims that the D8 GTO-JD70 is the first sports car in the world to exceed 2G during cornering. In physics, ‘G’ stands for acceleration due to earth’s gravity (or 9.81m/sec every second). Force is the product of mass and acceleration, so the downward pull of the earth is the force due to gravity acting on an object or body. Therefore, 2G (or twice the amount of gravity) feels like weighing twice as heavy. And that’s directed vertically toward the surface of the earth. Imagine experiencing that as a lateral or sideways force.

This performance car weighs less than 700kg. PHOTOS FROM DONKERVOORT

One thing that allows the D8 GTO-JD70 to achieve this face-melting cornering performance is its extensive use of lightweight materials. The chassis is a carefully concocted mix of aluminum and carbon fiber, which is both light and rigid. Helping shed even more weight is Donkervoort’s own carbon-fiber recipe that the body is made out of.

Keeping the JD70 dancing gracefully on the track is a front/rear double-wishbone suspension setup with adjustable shock absorbers and anti-roll bars. Purists may sneer at the fact that Donkervoort has equipped the car with an electric power steering system. However, the company says that tactile road feel isn’t lost, and that the EPS drives a quick-ratio steering rack for increased agility especially during corner entry.

What’s astounding is that this combination of a featherweight body/frame and a track-focused suspension makes the JD70 capable of reaching 2G during cornering even on its standard Nankang street-legal tires. To put that into perspective, the Bugatti Divo hypercar can muster “only” 1.6G on the skidpad.

A 2.5-liter Audi Sport five-cylinder turbo engine propels this speed machine. It is quick. PHOTO FROM DONKERVOORT

Under the hood is a 2.5-liter Audi Sport five-cylinder turbocharged engine cranking out 415hp and 520Nm. A very flat torque curve resides from 1,750rpm to 6,350rpm, which means short-shifting doesn’t impede the car’s progress during corner-exit acceleration. And speaking of shifting, the transmission is a five-speed manual equipped with rev-matching software.

Unleash all that power from a standstill and the lighter-than-700kg D8 GTO-JD70 will claw its way to 100km/h in a very brisk 2.7 seconds, generating a longitudinal acceleration of 1.02G. The driver need not worry about the 280km/h top speed: Sitting behind forged-alloy wheels are Tarox brakes with six-piston calipers up front. These offer fade-free stopping power on the track.

This car is all about lightness, so even the interior does not have unnecessary parts. PHOTOS FROM DONKERVOORT

This spine-shattering performance is not easily accessible though. While the D8 GTO-JD70 does have antilock brakes and electrically assisted steering, Donkervoort reveals that the car will not be equipped with any electronic nannies to preserve the purity of the driving experience. For example, the massive Tarox brakes don’t come with any servo assistance, so drivers will really have to stand on the anchors in order to brake late.

Excluding taxes, the crazy Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 starts at €163,636 (P9.4 million). That’s quite a bit of money for something that can give daring owners extremely sore necks after just a few laps.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.