Spyker debuts a new C8 at the Geneva Motor Show

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Spyker has had its fair share of trouble in the past. There was that issue with GM, and then Spyker eventually filed for bankruptcy. That bankruptcy was declared null and void, but it was still a troubling time for the company. That’s ok, though, because Spyker is back and has even debuted a new C8 this year at the Geneva International Motor Show. Dubbed the Preliator, it’s the third generation C8, and it’s said to be the “ultimate translation” of Spyker’s aviation heritage to a “road jet” or “plane without wings.”

The name “Preliator” means fighter or warrior in Latin, so it’s no surprise Spyker chose that name for its new C8. At the unveiling in Geneva, Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s Founder and CEO, said, “The greatest man in our industry, Enzo Ferrari, once said: ‘What’s behind you, doesn’t matter.’ What does matter is the fact that we have returned to Geneva today to unveil the worthy successor to the Spyker C8 Aileron, launched right here in 2009, of which the last five units are being assembled in our new production facilities in Coventry, the United Kingdom.”

So, Spyker hasn’t even finished producing the previous generation and has already debuted the next. The question is – does the C8 Preliator differ enough from the previous generation to suffice as a new model? Well, it’s still hand built, and from a glance, it looks to be an interesting car, so let’s dive on into this review and see what is going on with Spyker’s new C8 Preliator.

Updated 03/30/2016: Spyker announced U.S. prices for its new C8 Preliator at the 2016 New York Auto Show where the sports car made its North American debut. The car will be limited to only 50 units worldwide and will be offered with both manual and automatic transmission. Check the "Prices" section for more details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Spyker C8 Preliator.

  • 2017 Spyker C8 Preliator
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    517 @ 6800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    443 @ 3500
  • Displacement:
    4.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    201 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667860

At first glance, it’s easy to tell that this model is a Spyker C8, but it looks like more of a facelift than a new generation. Up front, the Preliator has the same large oval grille, but it now features a vertical louver right in the middle with a Spyker badge positioned to one side. The headlights take the same shape as those on the old C8, as does the hood. The hood, however, now has large, wide-open vents as opposed to the smaller, staggered vents on the Aileron’s hood. To the corners of the front fascia, thin, vertical vents make way for LED running lights. A thin front spoiler is positioned below the front fascia, with upswept wings where the spoiler meets the front wheel arches.

To the sides, there is definitely a change in profile between the Aileron and the Preliator. That lower body line that separates the doors and rear quarters from the tall side skirts still runs between the two wheel arches, but down below, a small wing has been added at the front of the rear wheel arch. The round vents behind the door have been replaced with more aerodynamic rectangular units that sit vertically. Cutouts in the body make it look like the body fades away into the vent – it’s a nice touch, really. The rear quarters are exceptionally dominating on the Preliator. That sweeping body line from the side view mirrors swoops downward on the doors before swooping up and over the rear quarters to help form those muscular rear haunches.

The LED tail lamps simulate something similar to the appearance of a jet turbine.

To the rear, the rear lid is flat, with an LED light strip running the full width of the rear end. The LED tail lamps are created out of stainless steel, and feature bright LED rings around the outside, with LED lighting on the inside to simulate something similar to the appearance of a jet turbine. A large mesh insert surrounds the taillights. Down below, a large rear diffuser provides some functional vents and makes way for dual oval exhaust outlets with a large “C8 Preliator” badge between them. Even the roof scoop on the Preliator has been replaced with a flatter, more aerodynamic scoop. Altogether, it’s not a bad package, but this is what the C8 should have looked like from the beginning.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4628 MM (182.2 Inches)
Width 1953 MM (76.9 Inches)
Height 1202 MM (47.3 Inches)
Wheelbase 2725 MM (107.3 Inches)
Front track 1625 MM (64.0 Inches)
Rear track 1645 MM (64.8 Inches)


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Interior
- image 667866

Inside, you’ll find all of the smooth and unique details you would expect in a hand-built machine. The car on display in Geneva features Saddle interior with white honeycomb stitching and an ivory leather headlining. At the time of purchase, consumers can choose between 14 standard colors, but Spyker will provide any color requested by its customers as an option. The dash has been redesigned compared to the Aileron. There are still two round gauges ahead of the steering wheel, but the display screen in the middle is now gone. There are several small, circular lights between the two gauges. The forward section of the dash is done in what looks like smooth stainless steel.

The Preliator comes with a heads-up display that also functions as a navigation system.

The center console looks quite similar to that of the Aileron, with four circular gauges on top, a number of switches below them, two HVAC vents, and three more circular gauges – clearly simulating that of an airplane cockpit. And, let’s not forget about that weird joystick-like shifter that runs from the front of the center console to the rear of the vehicle.

The Preliator comes with a heads-up display that also functions as a navigation system. Since the demand for a sound system has increased, every Preliator comes with a high-end sound system with digital radio, Bluetooth interface, and Apple iPhone connectivity.


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667864

The C8 Preliator is powered by Audi’s 4.2-liter V-8, but it’s been supercharged and now delivers 517 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a Getrag, six-speed manual transmission with gear ratios that are matched to the engine. A ZF six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is an option, and like the Getrag, it has Spyker’s trademark exposed gear change mechanism. All told, the C8 Preliator can hit the 62 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph. Not too bad, if I say so myself.

All told, the C8 Preliator can hit the 62 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.

The C8 Preliator is equipped with independent double-wishbone suspension from Lotus in the front and rear. The system includes front and rear stabilizer bars, mono-tube dampers, coilover steel springs, and anti-dive/anti-squat setup for improved handling and agility. When possible, the suspension was made with forged aluminum to help fight unsprung weight. The 19-inch, Turbofan wheels are wrapped in 235/35 series tires in the front and 295/25 series tires in the rear. Needless to say, Spyker went out of its way to make sure the C8 Preliator stays on the ground despite, its aviation-based design cues.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 90 degree V8 with VVT and compressor
Capacity 4.2-litre, 4172 cc
Bore & Stroke 84.5 x 93.0 mm
Compression ratio 11.0:1
Max power 517 HP @ 6,800 RPM
Max torque 443 LB-FT @ 3,500 RPM
Max revolutions 7200 rpm
Valves 40 (5-per-cylinder)
Fuel system Multi-point fuel injection
Exhaust system Stainless steel with active bypass valves
0-100 kph (62 mph) 3.7 seconds
Max speed 322 KM/H (201 MPH)


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667871

U.S. prices for the C8 Preliator will start from $354,990 with the manual gearbox and from $362,990 with the automatic transmission. The stickers do not include options and taxes. While it may seem like a lot for a sports car that doesn’t have a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge, the C8 Preliator’s price isn’t that outrageous given production will be limited to only 50 examples worldwide.


McLaren 570GT

2017 McLaren 570GT
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The 570GT is McLaren’s newest offering in its entry-level Sports Series and is one of those “daily driver” supercars that should pose some pretty stiff competition for the Preliator – at least on the road, anyway. The McLaren 570GT starts out below $200,000, so it will probably beat the Preliator right off the bat as far as pricing goes, but the reason I chose it as a competitor is because of its specifications. The 570GT is power by McLaren’s 3.8-liter engine, and produces 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through a seven-speed SSG transmission and enables the 570G to hit a 60 mph sprint in 3.4 seconds with an estimated top speed of 204 mph. So, if you’re an aviation guy, the Preliator is probably right up your alley, but if all you want is a 500 horsepower supercar that won’t set you back $500,000, you might want to consider the 570GT.

Read the full review here.

Ferrari California T

2015 - 2016 Ferrari California T High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 541914

The California T is basically considered the Ferrari you buy if you simply want a Ferrari on a budget. Like the 570GT, it starts out below $200,000. Powered by a 3.9-liter V-8, the California T makes the 60 mph sprint in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 196 mph. Sure, it has more of a sports car look to that the Preliator, but it still has 560 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque on tap that is delivered to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Even as a “budget” Ferrari, you’ll find the cabin is rather comfortable and functional, and it still provides exactly what you would expect from Ferrari. For the 2017 model year, the California T will be offered with a high-performance handling package that should help give it an edge over the competition.

Read the full review here.


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 667862

I have a bold appreciation for Spyker and the effort it put into refining the C8. I still think the Preliator should be considered as more of a facelift than a new generation, but we’re not exactly talking about a Ford Focus or a Mercedes S-Class either. We’re talking about a hand-built car that oddly enough shares a heritage with aviation. Personally, I’m not a fan of the whole airplane feel inside the car, but I think it is pretty cool to look at. Those who have a passion for flying can surely appreciate the effort that Spyker went to keep the car more plane-like and less futuristic. I’m kind of curious why Spyker didn’t go with an all-electric drivetrain or at least a hybrid drivetrain. Throw a couple of electric motors and a battery back in there, and this baby could easily pump out 700 horsepower. Maybe Spyker is just hanging onto that idea for the future – you never know, maybe the brand will produce a car with wings someday.

  • Leave it
    • Still too similar to the Aileron
    • Apparent long wait times if you want one
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

Spyker, creator of meticulously hand-built sports cars since 2000, today proudly unveils its third-generation sports car: the Spyker C8 Preliator.

2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667861

Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer said on the occasion of the unveiling: "The greatest man in our industry, Enzo Ferrari, once said: ‘What’s behind you, doesn’t matter’. What does matter is the fact that we have returned to Geneva today to unveil the worthy successor to the Spyker C8 Aileron, launched right here in 2009, of which the last five units are being assembled in our new production facilities in Coventry, the United Kingdom.“

The Spyker C8 Preliator’s design represents the ultimate translation of our aviation heritage to a “road jet”, a plane without wings, reflected among others in the Head-Up Display, fitted as standard to every car. It is the epitome of our unrivaled craftsmanship. By mounting a supercharger to the Audi V8 engine we have improved the performance of the Spyker C8 Preliator significantly as compared to its predecessor and its exclusivity is warranted since we will produce a mere 50 units.

The “Preliator” name, which means "fighter" or “warrior” in latin, pays tribute to that aviation heritage: "Fighters" are warplanes as made by Spyker between 1914 and 1918. But even more so, “Preliator” symbolises the uphill battles Spyker faced and won in the past couple of years.

The Spyker C8 Preliator is made for discerning owners who appreciate the attention to detail and bespoke features we have offered them for over a decade and a half now. Our dedicated crew will assemble the first cars in Coventry, UK, together with CPP Metalcraft, our very first partner since we started Spyker back in 2000, as of the last quarter of this year. When I designed the Spyker C8 Preliator I wanted it to ooze the sheer tenacity and determination with which we created a new dawn for our company and by launching it here today we pay homage to the latin axiom which has adorned the Spyker propellor logo since 1914 “Nulla tenacia invia est via” - for the tenacious no road is impassable”.


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 667862

The Spyker C8 Preliator’s contemporary design is even more heavily inspired by Spyker’s aviation heritage than any of our previous models with a clear emphasis on the typical aircraft air intakes, the so-called NACA ducts, and represents the latest evolution of Spyker’s signature architecture.

In the first-generation cars, the propeller design was consistently applied to many elements of the cars. The second generation cars showed a transition to turbine engine inspired design. Within the design of the new third generation cars, the Spyker C8 Preliator, the emphasis has shifted to submerged air intakes, the so-called NACA ducts, as used in the aviation industry.

In order to enhance the aerodynamic performance of the car, several changes in styling were made so as to reduce drag such as the replacement of the air scoop on the canopy by a NACA duct. Small ailerons were added to the front splitter and side skirts to redirect the airflow optimally. The shark-like gills have been abandoned, which results in a cleaner, smoother appearance. The glass canopy has a reflective gold coating applied to it as used in jet fighters. The trademark V-shaped grille with honeycomb mesh is now characterised by the central pillar first seen on the Spyker B6 Venator concept car shown here in 2013. Also the rear diffuser was redesigned for improved functionality. Small winglets mounted on the front splitter and side skirts optimize the airflow.

The CNC-machined stainless steel rear lights are made of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) emulating fighter jet afterburners. LED lights were also used for the indicators and the sidelights in the headlight units.The brake light has been sculpted into the rear panel so as to ensure smooth flowing design lines. Elegantly aggressive 19” Turbofan™ wheels are shown in a mirror polish finish.

The Spyker C8 Preliator is available in 16 standard colours, but customers may choose any colour they wish as an option, as well as the sporty Spyker Squadron GT2 colour scheme. The C8 Preliator shown here has a new colour called Satin Jet Grey. Spyker will meet any demand of its discerning owners to create an absolutely bespoke car of which he or she will never find another one.

All-Aluminium Space Frame Chassis

2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667863

The Spyker C8 Preliator’s all-aluminium space frame composed of extrusions and folded sheet aluminium and extruded aluminium side-impact bars and integral rollover bars was redesigned with the objective to further increase torsional rigidity and to incorporate the Lotus supplied suspension system. These characteristics provide an ideal foundation for enhanced vehicle dynamics.

Moreover, the C8 Preliator’s dimensions have been optimised, the car is longer than its predecessor, providing for more driving comfort and stability at high speeds.
Spyker has put tremendous efforts in the space frame performance of the C8 Preliator, specifically the structure’s efficiency. The utilisation of modern finite element and numerical optimization methods has allowed Spyker’s engineers to arrive at an exceptionally stiff structure of 24.000Nm/degree, a 10% improvement over the previous model. Rigid-node and load-path technology has been employed in order to ensure that the minimum amount of aluminium is used to achieve this performance, thus reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. The dynamic stiffness characteristics of the structure have been carefully tuned in order to minimize unwanted cabin noises and vibrations, which may otherwise detract from the driving experience. These technologies and measures have allowed Spyker to arrive at the most efficient chassis in its history.

The Spyker C8 Preliator will use the Audi 4.2 litre V8 engine Spyker has used since its inception but now boasting 525 bhp as a result of a supercharger and will be available with two transmission alternatives. The Spyker C8 Preliator will be fitted as standard with a 6-speed Getrag manual gearbox, with ratios perfectly matched to the V8 supercharged engine. A ZF 6-speed automatic gearbox, which comes standard with paddle shifts behind the steering wheel to progress smoothly through the ratios is an option. Both transmissions retain Spyker’s trademark exposed gear change mechanism.


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667864

The Spyker C8 Preliator has more interior space, which results in a higher comfort level and improved ergonomics. The interior, with its typical Spyker attention to detail, is made of the highest quality leather available in the market. The leather interior is available in 14 standard colours, but any other colour – if desired by the customer – can be ordered as an option. The car on display has a Saddle interior with white honeycomb stitching (matching the mesh in the grille) and an ivory leather headlining.

The dashboard was redesigned to suit the new exterior design and to improve ergonomics and functionality. Air vents are designed in turbine style and the performance and distribution of the air conditioning was improved significantly. A multifunctional Head-Up Display is integrated and placed atop the dash board. Machined Chronoswiss dials and switches are available as an option.

In-Car Entertainment

With larger numbers of cars going into the market and the increased popularity of the Apple iPhone and similar products, the demand for a standard sound system fitted by the factory increased. As a result, every Spyker C8 Preliator will be equipped as standard with a highend sound system, incorporating a digital radio, Bluetooth interface and Apple iPhone connectivity. The navigation system is operated from the Head-Up Display.
Suspension & Wheels

The C8 Preliator is fitted with a Lotus front and rear independent double-wishbone suspension system. This suspension system includes a new kinematic layout of the front and rear suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, mono-tube dampers, coil over damper steel springs, anti-dive and anti- squat setup for improved handling properties. The suspension components are made of forged aluminium where possible, to keep the vehicle’s unsprung weight as low as possible. Shock absorbers are placed vertically within the wishbones. The Preliator has newly-designed 19-inch alloy Turbofan™ wheels as standard. These wheels are inspired by the turbine blades of a jet engine, which hints at Spyker’s aviation heritage. The Michelin 235/35 size tyres at the front and up to 295/30 at the rear provide the necessary
road holding.


2017 Spyker C8 Preliator High Resolution Exterior
- image 667865

Brakes are supplied by AP Racing, a partner from day one. Black brake calipers with Spyker script are standard. Colour-coded calipers with Spyker script can be ordered as an option. The car on display has Satin Gold calipers which match the air box. Carbon ceramic brakes will be available as an option.

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Press release

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