When you don’t worry about the road, you can get even quicker on track
Audi-powered, lightweight birthday special
Donkervoort has made it’s latest ultra-hardcore model even more extreme. It’s stronger, faster, and takes the 70th birthday tribute to the company’s founder to the racetrack. It’s the D8 GTO-JD70 R, and while you’ll never remember that name we think you will remember that look. And the performance.
Call it the JD70, because that’s what Donkervoort is labelling it, and they’re calling it “the fastest, most attacking, least compromised Donkervoort ever engineered.” Interestingly, and, frankly, unusually, they’re starting off the performance with the part of the equation that’s most often overlooked: Stopping.
The braking system for the track model is from Bosch, the company’s M5 Clubsport ABS system that has 12 steps of driver adjustment, letting you dial it in to your preference, skill level, tires, and track conditions. It makes stopping and turning easier, but making the stopping happen is Tarox hardware that no longer worries about road car things like cold-brake stops. That means it’s more aggressive, with racing parts and fluids ready to handle extended periods of hot work. 310 mm discs with six-pot calipers in front and 285s in the rear with the same clamps. Balance is adjustable on the fly to suit tyre wear, fuel loads, or whatever else you can dream up.
Letting those brakes bite the pavement are custom-designed Nankang tires, offered in slick and full-wet versions mounted on Rays wheels. Carbon wheels are an option as are tire warmer blankers.
You don’t have to get power steering, but they recommend that you do, saying the car is faster and easier to correct that way. It’s probably also less tiring. The suspension is double wishbones all around with four-way adjustable Intrax dampers running stiffer springs, shocks, sway bars, and even bushings for the track.
Donkervoort wants you to spend plenty of time on track, and that means they expect 1,000 km from a set of slicks and 5k form brake pads. They say the steel discs are cheaper to replace than carbon, as well. The cars have telemetry including tire pressure and temperature monitoring which can be sent back to the pit box. Donkervoort will even bring a full team including catering and a driving coach to your track day, for an extra fee.
If it all goes wrong, there’s a tow hook in the back and a strap in the front to get out of the gravel trap. Lastly, Donkervoort says the JD70 R passes French FFSA safety regs, thanks to a roll cage, various fuel storage options, and FIA-legal fire suppression, and that makes it compliant with all European race tracks (which it says many lightweight track specials can’t meet.)
Strangely, they don’t mention the engine. But don’t worry, it’s a 415 hp 2.5L five-cylinder Audi monster with a six-speed sequential box, full-throttle upshifts, and rev-matching downshifts.