When Colin Chapman built the Lotus Seven in 1957, he basically invented the no-nonsense, super-lightweight, road-legal sports car concept. Decades later, Caterham bought the rights to the car and took the Seven to the next level by making it even lighter and faster. However, there’s a certain company that has taken the concept to new heights in terms of technology and horsepower. It’s called Donkervoort and it’s famous for building some of the most extreme Sevens since the late 1970s. The Dutch brand is still at it and its latest product is dubbed the D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition. Unfortunately, we can’t have it here in the U.S.

As the name suggests, it is based on the 2012 Donkervoort D8 GTO, Donkervoort’s newest and most powerful Seven-based sports car. Also, it’s a tribute to the Mille Miglia, the famous open-road endurance race which took place in Italy 24 times between 1927 and 1957.

Donvervoort’s tribute car might seem a bit silly given the Dutch brand has never been part of the race, but there’s nothing wrong with celebrating one of the world’s most grueling and popular motorsport events. The decision to build the 1000 Miglia Edition is actually related to the fact that the D8 GTO was invited to act as the official support car at this year’s Mille Miglia Storica, which brought together numerous classic race cars.

To celebrate what it describes as a "milestone," Donkervoort created a bespoke D8 GTO for a grand touring-like experience rather than extreme performance.

Continue reading to learn more about the Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition.

  • 2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    310
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    139150
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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On the outside, the 1000 Miglia Edition looks like any other D8 GTO except for the "1000 Miglia" decals on the doors and the windscreen frame. That’s not a bad thing though, as the D8 GTO is arguably the most aggressive looking iteration of the Seven due to its massive front grille, slender headlamps, vented engine hood, and large side-exiting exhaust. Granted, the red exterior paint makes it less menacing than the 2015 Donkervoort D8 GTO Bare Naked Carbon Edition, but this hue is more suited to dress a car that celebrates the Mille Miglia.

Interior

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The interior is where the 1000 Miglia Edition stands out compared to other D8 GTOs. The dashboard features a less racy design, with conventional dials and connectivity for mobile phones and a navigation system. Also, the Dutch increased the driving height and added adjustable shock absorbers for a more comfortable ride. All told, Donkervoort aimed to turn the extreme D8 GTO into grand tourer-like vehicle that would be a bit more comfortable during long trips. Even though the cockpit still comes with lightweight door panels, racing seats, and fewer amenities than most conventional sports cars, Donkervoort ditched most of carbon fiber usually found in the average D8 GTO.

Drivetrain

Motivating the 1000 Miglia Edition is the same turbocharged, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine found in the regular D8 GTO. The unit borrowed from the 2013 Audi TT-RS and the 2012 Audi RS3 produces 340 or 380 horsepower in the standard model. However, in the 1000 Miglia Edition, the five-pot has been detuned to 310 horses to give it "a slightly milder nature." This special-edition model is also heavier than the regular D8 GTO, as Donkervoort reduced the use of carbon-fiber in order to obtain a more comfortable vehicle. The 1000 Miglia Edition tips the scales at 1,675 pounds, which makes it about 143 pounds heavier than the 2015 Donkervoort D8 GTO Bilster Berg Edition, which weighs in at 1,532 when fitted with the Performance package.

There aren’t any performance figures to run by, but it’s safe to assume that the reduced output and the increased weight will prevent the 1000 Miglia Edition to hit 62 mph in less than 3.2 seconds. This makes it nearly a half second slower than the quickest D8 GTO out there, but enthusiasts looking for a more streetable sports car are likely to enjoy it in this configuration.

Prices

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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As most Donkervoorts, the 1000 Miglia Edition doesn’t come cheap. Pricing starts from €115,000 (about $126,546) excluding the Dutch VAT or from €139,150 (around $153,120) including the 21 percent VAT. For reference, the D8 GTO Performance retails from €163,000 ($179,336), while the Bilster Berg Edition fetches at least €194,000 ($213,464). Only 25 examples of the 1000 Miglia Edition will be built, none of which will become available in the U.S.

Competition

2013 Caterham Seven 620R

2013 Caterham Seven 620 R High Resolution Exterior
- image 514266

The Caterham Seven is the closest thing out there to a Donkervoort D8 GTO. Although the British sports car features a milder, classic design, both are very similar in terms of performance and power-to-weight ratio. The 620R is currently the most powerful Seven you can buy. Motivated by a 311-horsepower, 2.0-liter Ford Duratec engine, the 620R is right on par with the 1000 Miglia Edition.

However, because it tips the scales at only 1,201 pounds, the Caterham is significantly quicker in a straight line, being able to hit 62 mph from a standing start in 2.8 seconds. But much like the D8 GTO, the Seven 620R can’t be purchased in the U.S., where only the 480 and the 360 are imported. U.K. pricing for the 620R from £49,995, which converts to around $77,000, making it significantly more affordable than the 1000 Miglia Edition (or any other D8 GTO for that matter).

Read more about the Caterham Seven 620R here.

2015 Ariel Atom 3S

2015 Ariel Atom 3S High Resolution Exterior
- image 572507
The Ariel Atom 3S is insanity pushed to a whole new level.

Caterham and Donkervoort aren’t the only brands that know how to make a car go fast. Ariel has been using the same recipe for more than a decade now and the Atom 3S is proof that lightweight sports cars can take many forms. Unlike the Seven, the Atom is built around an exoskeleton sporting very few body panels. It doesn’t have any doors and the windscreen is an option Ariel only introduced recently. In many ways, it’s a lot more hardcore than the D8 GTO.

Power comes from a turbocharged, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine borrowed from Honda. It cranks out 365 horsepower and enables the Atom 3S to hit 62 mph in around 2.8 seconds. Making the Atom a better choice to U.S. customers is that it can be purchased from TMI AutoTech for $89,975, or about the same price you’d have to pay for a Caterham 480, which is significantly less powerful and more than a half second slower.

Read more about the Ariel Atom 3S here.

Conclusion

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 633983

Much like any other D8 GTO, the 1000 Miglia Edition is a rather unique vehicle. This particular model not only blends the unique styling of Donkervoort and the heritage of the Lotus Seven, but it also brings a hefty dose of classic racing to the table through its Mille Miglia-inspired theme. Though it’s quite obvious that it was created to celebrate the brand’s debut in Italy’s iconic endurance race, it may very well appeal to gearheads in need of a slightly milder version of the beastly D8 GTO that’s also more suitable for road use.

What’s more, it’s the most affordable sports car Donkervoort is offering nowadays. Sure, you’re still better off with a Porsche 911 (or a Caterham Seven if you want something closer to Chapman’s original design) for that kind of dough, but it all depends on what you want to spend a massive amount of cash on, and, since it isn’t available in the U.S., on where you live.

  • Leave it
    • * Still expensive
    • * Not available in the U.S.
    • * Plenty of options out there

Press Release

For the first time in its 37-year history, Donkervoort was represented in the world-famous Mille Miglia; a fantastic rally on the most breathtaking roads in Italy. The D8 GTO joined this legendary event – by invitation, and as Official Support Car – which brings together the most famous racing cars of the past and the most high-profile supercars of today. Donkervoort sees this participation as an exceptional milestone, and is celebrating it with the launch of a special edition; the Donkervoort D8 GTO “1000 Miglia Edition”.

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 633984

D8 GTO “1000 Miglia Edition”
During the thousand-mile rally from Brescia to Rome and back, the focus is on ultimate driving pleasure in mostly historical, purist sports cars on wonderful roads. This is music to the years of the Dutch purist sports car manufacturer, which still operates under the motto ‘No Compromise’ when it comes to the search for the purest driving experience and pleasure.

The emphasis in the D8 GTO “1000 Miglia Edition” is therefore on maximising use of the GTO for touring purposes. The car was built with the aim of increasing both the ease-of-use and total comfort of the car, to ensure enjoyment of driving the GTO on Europe’s most beautiful roads. For this reason, the Donkervoort D8 GTO “1000 Miglia Edition” is a true touring version, in contrast with its more circuit-oriented predecessors, such as the D8 GTO Performance and the Bilster Berg Edition.

2016 Donkervoort D8 GTO 1000 Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 633985

Specifications
A quick look at some of the specifications for the Donkervoort D8 GTO “1000 Miglia Edition”:
+ Engine | Fitted with a 310 BHP Audi 2.5L R5 TFSI engine, giving the car a slightly milder nature.
+ Weight | 760 kg total weight, caused by a reduction in use of carbon fibre, in exchange for slightly more road comfort.
+ Driving height | Increased driving height for street use, including adjustable comfort shock absorbers
+ Dashboard | A classically designed dashboard featuring conventional dials, with extra facilities (for telephone and navigation) integrated in the cockpit.
+ Limited Edition | limited edition of 25 cars, identified by specially designed logos and badges inside and out.
+ Price | Basic package price of €115,000 excl. BTW (Dutch VAT) (€139,150 – including 21% VAT)

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