The Spyker C8 Aileron Takes Off

The child should always outperform the parent.

So is it with the Spyker C8 Aileron, the newest car from the Dutch super-sports-car manufacturer, which holds fast to the company’s almost century-old motto, “Nulla tenaci invia est via,”: “For the tenacious, no road is impassable.”

Tenaciously redesigned from the company’s first-generation cars, the Spyker C8 Laviolette and the Spyker C8 Spyder, the Aileron celebrates with them the company’s aircraft and racing heritage, evidenced by the signature propeller and wheel logo.

Spyker began building horse coaches in 1875 and followed with its first car in 1898; the company later built fighter aircraft and engines. In 2000, Spyker Cars started producing hand-crafted premium sports cars.

The second-generation Spyker C8 Aileron emphasizes design elements of later jet turbine technology. For example, the car’s bright polished air inlets resemble turbine engine-shaped air scoops.

Introduced at the Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva earlier this year and in North America at the New York International Auto Show in April, the new Aileron appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August.

Elegant company, for sure: List price for the new Aileron is $214,990 for the manual and $224,990 for the automatic. Both carry three-year manufacturer’s warranties. An extensive list of options includes heated seats, contrast stitching and a front-lift system that raises the front end at low speeds.

“Spykers are owned by discriminating automotive enthusiasts who value performance and craftsmanship, appreciate extraordinary design where only real and the best materials have been sourced and used, and the Spyker owner enjoys being able to drive something rare and exclusive,” says Carsten F. Preisz, president of sales and marketing for Spyker of North America, based in Westlake Village, Calif.

Potent and beautiful, the two-seat, two-door car uses the powerful and dependable Audi 4.2-liter V8 mid-mounted engine, which produces 400 bhp and 354 pound feet of torque at a maximum 7200 rpm. The 40-valve multi-point fuel-injected system breathes through a stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves; a Whisper Mode is optional.

You have a choice of two rear-mounted transmissions with Spyker’s exposed gear-change mechanism: a 6-speed Getrag manual with precision-matched ratios or a 6-speed Tiptronic ZF automatic — standard with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts. The Aileron’s interior dimensions have been enlarged to accommodate the automatic gearbox.

Spyker reports superb performance figures: 0–60 in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 187 mph. A 15-gallon light-alloy fuel tank provides good long-distance capability.

These excellent track numbers are in part attributable to the car’s relative light weight. Aluminum extrusions, folded sheet metal and side-impact and integral roll-over bars offer torsional rigidity while delivering a curb weight of just 3,142 pounds. Spyker engineers have carefully tuned the structure to reduce unwanted cabin noises and vibrations, adding to your overall driving experience.

At the same time, to improve handling, the wheelbase of the C8 Aileron is longer — a total of 107 inches — as well as the front and rear track — 63.98 inches and 64.76 inches, respectively. The overall length is 182 inches, and the width, excluding mirrors is 77 inches. Weight distribution is very good at 45/55.

Various body changes have been made to improve aerodynamics, such as moving the canopy backwards. For better cooling, a larger grille has been designed. The engineers have also placed an extra spoiler under the redesigned rear diffuser, adding downforce, and the body also incorporates front and side splitters. The doors open in gull-wing fashion.

In addition, single-pane side windows have replaced split-side windows for greater driver comfort, and the outside mirrors connect into a mirror body mounted on two turbine fan blades. LED headlights follow the body design even more closely than the previous Spykers; LEDs are also used for the indicators and the sidelights.

The Spyker team has incorporated a Lotus front and rear independent forged-aluminum double-wishbone suspension system, keeping the unsprung weight as low as possible. This includes front and rear stabilizer bars, Bilstein mono-tube shocks in the wishbones, Eibach coil-over-shock steel springs and an anti-dive and anti-squat setup for improved handling.

The Bosch ABS system incorporates Electronic Brake Distribution. It includes radial-mounted four-piston AP Racing brake calipers: cross-drilled steel brake discs, front and rear. Spyker says that carbon ceramic brakes will be available soon. You can customize your Aileron by choosing various colors for the calipers, all bearing the Spyker logo.

Front and rear wheels are 19 inches with standard alloy, or you can order Rotorblade™ alloy 10-blade wheels — once again inspired by jet turbine blades.

That longer chassis means the Spyker C8 Aileron has a larger, more comfortable interior. Leather for the seats and roof upholstery comes from the Dutch Royal Tannery Hulshof. Order from 14 standard colors or customize with a personal selection. Similarly, the C8 Aileron is available in 16 standard colors developed by Sikkens Autolakken Nederland and AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. These include Azure Blue, Cumulus White, Aubergine and Dutch Orange. You can, however, choose any color to customize your Aileron. To further luxurize, add a five-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set made exclusively for Spyker.

Improved ergonomics and functionality key a new dashboard design. The dash itself is brushed aluminum, but bright turned aluminum can be ordered. An LCD display runs between the speedometer and odometer. Chronoswiss dials and switches are optional. Air vents are designed in turbine style. Interior controls include passenger-airbag deactivation and battery- disconnection switches. The leather-trimmed steering wheel is fitted to a steering column that adjusts for reach and rake.

For entertainment, every Spyker C8 Aileron features a Kharma sound system with a digital radio, Bluetooth interface, iPod connectivity, digital FM, 8 GB memory drive and a GPS navigation system. To keep you at home in the 21st century, you’ll enjoy joystick controls on the central console and a dashboard display, paired to six Kharma loudspeakers and two amplifiers outputting 300 watts. You can also upgrade with two optional audio packages —and then your Aileron is really flying.

“There are a number of beautiful, super-fast, expensive sports cars available, but the Spyker offers a look, an exclusivity and a vision of what a supercar should be that is completely its own,” Priesz says.

Spyker of North America, 805.218.7162,