Niche Dutch automaker is looking to make a statement with a dandy special edition sports car

Lightweight sports car manufacturer Donkervoort is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founder, Joop Donkervoot, by releasing the D8 GTO-JD70, a limited edition version of the D8 GTO that the automaker says is capable of pulling “more than 2G of lateral acceleration in corners, even in its standard trim and on its standard tires.” As exciting as that sounds, not everyone will get the chance to own the D8 GTO-JD70. Production is limited to just 70 units with each model priced at €163,636 before taxes. That converts to around $182,000 based on current exchange rates. Those lucky enough to score one of the 70 available units will get their hands on their limited edition rides beginning in the spring of 2020.

What Makes the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 so Special?

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70
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The Donkervoort D8 GTO is one of the rare cars that doesn’t hide what it is. Introduced in 2013, the D8 GTO is an open-top supercar that’s meant to be driven fast. It’s powered by an Audi-sourced 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 400 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with a weight of fewer than 700 kilos, and you have a car that can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 170 mph.

Donkervoort D8 GTO specifications
Engine 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder turbocharged
Horsepower 400 HP
Torque 384 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 2.8 seconds
Top Speed 170 mph

Everything about the D8 GTO screams fast. From its power and performance numbers to its sleek, long-hooded profile, all you need is one look at the D8 GTO to know that you don’t want to get stuck in its crosshairs. Do so at your own peril; there’s a good chance that you’re not going to come out of an encounter with the D8 GTO on the winning side.

In standard form, the D8 GTO is already capable of things that very few performance cars can do.

Now, imagine if Donkervoort whipped up a limited edition version of the same supercar with exclusive touches, extra power, and extensive technical upgrades that take its performance credentials to an entirely new level. Is that something that you’d be interested in?

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70
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It’s actually a rhetorical question because we already know what the answer’s going to be. Even better, none of us have to imagine this limited edition D8 GTO because it’s now a real thing. It’s called the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70, and for lack of a better description, it is an absolute monster.

The Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 enters our lives as a special edition model that pays homage to the 70th birthday of company founder Joop Donkervoort, who created Donkervoort in 1978. The niche car brand doesn’t have an extensive model portfolio, but in the absence of that, Donkervoort has established a reputation as a purveyor of fast and lightweight sports cars, specifically the ones that have carried the “D8” nameplate since the D8 Zetec arrived in 1993. Today, the D8 GTO stands as the company’s only model. It comes in two forms: the standard D8 GTO that’s been around since 2013 and the higher-spec D8 GTO RS that was introduced in 2016.

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70
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The D8 GTO-JD70 is based on the standard D8 GTO. It carries most of the sports car’s identity, but in true limited edition fashion, it also comes with something extra. A lot of it, in fact.

Visually, the D8 GTO-JD70 maintains the neo-retro styling of the car it’s based on.

The long hood is present in the limited edition model, as is the small open-top cockpit that’s located close to the rear end of the car because of how long the damn hood is. The sharp-looking front end, defined mostly by the angular headlamps and the large front grille, are present in the special edition sports car. The entire body is also made from carbon fiber. That contributes to the impressive weight of the car. A few more unique details include the side exhaust tips located just in front of the rear tires and the massive rear diffuser that’s completely hard to miss.

Images of the special edition D8 GTO-JD70 also show the car wearing what looks to be a dark green paint finish, almost looking like the famous British Racing Green finish that a lot of British performance cars wear. Maybe that’s a coincidence; maybe not. Either way, it looks good on the D8 GTO-JD70.

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70
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Appearances aside, the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70’s real claim to fame is its Audi-sourced 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI engine. In standard form, the engine produces 400 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. For a car that weighs just under 700 kilos (1,543 pounds), the D8 GTO’s power-to-weight ratio makes it one of the fastest pound-for-pound cars in the world. The numbers bear fruit, too. It only takes 2.8 seconds for the D8 GTO to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. That’s on the level of some of the fastest and most powerful supercars in the world. The Ferrari F8 Tributo, for example, takes 2.9 seconds to cover the same speed while the Lamborghini Aventador can do the same split in around the same time. We’re talking about exotics that produce in excess of 700 horsepower, folks. The fact that the D8 GTO can stand toe-to-toe with these supercars speaks to the kind of performance capabilities it possesses. It doesn’t have as high a top speed — 170 mph — but that’s more a product of the smaller engine than anything else.

Now imagine if you add an extra 15 horsepower to the mix. That’s what you get with the D8 GTO-JD70.

Its engine is tuned to deliver 415 horsepower, which doesn’t sound much but is no less impressive for a car of its size.

Donkervoort didn’t release the performance specs of the limited edition D8 GTO-JD70, but would you be surprised if it can shave 0.1 seconds off its 0-to-60-mph time? I wouldn’t be.

Beyond the upgrades to its engine, the D8 GTO-JD70 also benefits from a five-speed manual transmission with rev-matching capabilities. It’s also been fitted with a limited-slip differential and an updated suspension setup with adjustable anti-roll bars and three-way adjustable shock absorbers. I can imagine why all these new bits are in place for the D8 GTO-JD70. If you’re going to drive a car with that much power carrying that weight, you’re going to need to strengthen its core to ensure that it doesn’t become undrivable.

2020 Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70
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Put this in perspective: even with the retooled setup, Donkervoort says that the D8 GTO-JD70 is capable of pulling 2g worth of lateral acceleration in corners, and that’s when it’s using standard street-legal tires. I don’t know what 2g of lateral acceleration in corners feels like to the body, but I know people who have experienced it and they say that, unless you’re prepared for the sides of your bodies to hurt, you might not want to bother getting into the D8 GTO-JD70.

All this makes the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 a raunchy sports car. It’s certainly not for everybody, least of all those who aren’t skilled enough to drive it on a race track. But if you’re up to it — and if you have money to spare — you can be just one of the 70 owners who’ll be able to take one home. It’s priced at €163,636 before taxes. That converts to around $182,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s expensive, sure, but what you’ll get out of it should make the financial beatdown on your bank accounts worth it. Donkervoort is already accepting orders for the D8 GTO-JD70 as production is expected to run for the next two years.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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