The Spyder was everything he’d hoped for, an undiluted shot of pure adrenaline. And while he could stay with his buddies in the corners, the Spyker was lacking on the straights.
When I got the car, I was thrilled to discover it could outpace my friend’s Ferrari Scuderia in the twisties. But I was dismayed to discover that the Scuderia could smoke the Spyker on the straights, and resolved to solve that problem. I contacted Spyker since I knew that a few Spykers had been supercharged in Europe, by MTM. The cost of shipping the car to Europe and doing the installation there was not a wonderful proposition, and Spyker suggested VF Engineering. Nik Saran made a great impression and I drove down to meet him. VFE has been supercharging German engines (such as the Audi engine found in the Spyker) for the better part of 20 years, so it seemed like a good fit. VFE was very creative and careful in the development process, eventually trying out three hardware configurations and four different software regimes in the process before delivering 100 extra horsepower at the rear wheels, as requested. The car can now hold its own on the front straight with my friend’s Italian sports cars, no problem. The VFE supercharger has been rock solid, 100 percent reliable. No issues whatsoever.
The Spyker is hyper-engaging on the track. It is like a go-cart in one sense, but in another, it is a challenge. ABS is the only nanny’ on the car, and it only kicks in short of death. No power steering, no power brakes, no traction control, no stability control. The car is very light at 2700 pounds, so it is wonderful to drive on the track. Because there is no power steering, once you load up the front wheels during braking, it can require quite a bit of force to actually turn in. Until you get used to this, the phenomenon can be vaguely alarming. Also, it is easy to overpower the back end exiting a turn, so some time doing drills on the skidpad isn’t a bad idea, till you get the hang of it. The AP Racing brakes are great, once you get the feel for them.
Although Justice has since traded his Murcilago LP640 for the new Lamborghini Aventador, he has no intention of dumping the Spyker.
It really has no competition. The car is rare, classy, and has a wonderful retro feel. There are only 250 or so in the world, so the chances of finding another one parked outside of Starbucks are effectively zero. There are faster cars. There are more expensive cars, but so what? The Spyker is an attention magnet fully on the order of my Murci Roadster. It’s great to drivesounds amazing. Ideal for fair weather excursions, top removed and stored in the garage. Driving it under the stars is amazing. It will remain in my collection for a long time.
Spyker C8 Spyder
Longitudinal mid-mount engine, rear-wheel drive
4.2-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. VF Engineering supercharger system with Eaton/Magnuson TVS1900 Roots-type blower, integrated air-to-water induction cooling system, 6-psi manifold boost pressure at sea level at ambient 60-90F
Four-wheel independent suspension, double wishbones front and rear, front and rear stabilizer bars
356mm rear vented discs w/ 4-piston calipers, ABS (f)
330mm vented discs w/ 4-piston calipers, ABS (r)
Wheels and Tires
Aeroblade 10-spoke alloys, 19-inch
235/35 (f), 290/30 (r)
Peak Power: 500 hp @ 5500 rpm
Peak Torque: 439 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
0-60 mph: 3.8 sec.
Top Speed: 187 mph