Spyker – the Dutch firm best known for its ornate sports cars and a brief spell in Formula 1 – debuted its latest car at the Geneva motor show on March 1.
As we suspected before the car's unveiling, the new C8 Preliator's styling is an evolution of the existing C8 Aileron, itself a replacement for the C8 Laviolette that kicked off the Spyker brand’s resurrection in 1999.
Subscribe to evo magazine
It's long, low and sleek, with subtle curves, intricate detailing and a glassy cabin, just like its predecessors. And like its predecessors, the Preliator uses a 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8 engine sourced from Audi.
Unlike the Aileron, whose engine was naturally-aspirated to develop 400bhp and 354lb ft of torque, the Preliator is also supercharged.
This bumps power considerably, to a figure more befitting of the supercar image - 518bhp at 6800rpm (and 443lb ft of torque), with the option of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A Drexler limited-slip diff is standard. The end result? A 3.7-second 0-62mph sprint, and a 201mph top speed.
That certainly quashes rumours that the Preliator might be an electric vehicle, following Spyker's announcement last July that it would be merging with electric vehicle manufacturer Volta Volare. Following the company’s exit from moratorium after voluntary financial restructuring, CEO Victor Muller suggested the company was ‘set to build sensationally elegant and classy (electric) motorcars and electric planes for decades to come.’
Claims of elegance and class can still be levelled at the latest C8 however. Short of Pagani - and it's a close-run thing - Spyker does beautiful details like no other manufacturer.
Outside, stand-out features are the large oval grille with its vintage Spyker script and ultra-fine mesh, and the rear aspect with quad tail lights, a full-width light bar and tailpipes embossed with the Spyker name.
A sleek skin clothes the Preliator's extruded and folded aluminium spaceframe chassis, whose torsional stiffness is 10 per cent greater than its predecessor. The suspension - supplied by Lotus - uses aluminium double-wishbones at both ends.
It weighs in at 1390kg and sits on mirror-polished 19-inch 'Turbofan' alloy wheels. The Michelin tyres are 235/35 R19 at the front and 295/30 R19 astern.
In the cabin, it's impossible not to start with Spyker's typical gearshift mechanism, though the aeronautical-inspired dashboard, flip-up switch to start the car and jet engine-like air vents could all pass as art should you simply mount the car on a plinth and charge people to sit in the leather-lined seats.