From Saab savior to money saver: Spyker planning less expensive sports car debut at Geneva Motor Show

Spyker C8 Aileron front three quarter whiteAfter recovering from a failed attempt to resuscitate Saab, Dutch boutique carmaker Spyker is focusing its resources on the exotic sports car market once again. A report from Telegraaf.nl says Spyker will appear at March’s Geneva Motor Show with a cheaper car designed to take on the Porsche 911.

Details on the entry level Spyker are almost nonexistent; Spyker CEO Victor Muller wants the car’s Geneva unveiling to be a surprise. “I say nothing other than it will surprise you. Come to our conference,” Muller told Dutch journalists.

If the new Spyker is really meant to take on the 911, its base price will probably fall in the $85,000 range. That may not seem affordable, but it would be a huge discount over the roughly $200,000 Spyker asks for a new C8 Aileron.

The mid-engined C8 Aileron is essentially a masterwork of Steampunk craftsmanship concealing Audi running gear. It’s quilted leather interior and exposed chrome gear linkage would make any airship captain proud, while a 4.2-liter V8 based on the one Audi uses in the R8 supercar produces 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

However, it’s the outrageous looks that separate the C8 from the rest of the supercar field, and that will likely be the case with the new, downsized model. It’s hard to see how a small outfit like Spyker will be able to match Porsche’s R&D budget, or those of other entry-level supercars like the R8, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

In other words, don’t expect Spyker to dethrone a sports car that’s been evolving for almost 50 years; many worthy adversaries have tried, and failed. However, Spyker is in a position to offer something more interesting, unique and perhaps more fun than the omnipresent 911.

It will also provide Spyker with more cash. Some companies are content with building a handful of cars each year, but Muller has always had bigger plans. The purchase of Saab was a manifestation of those plans, as is Spyker’s ongoing attempt to build and sell a luxury SUV, the D8 Peking-to-Paris.

Spyker was a well regarded manufacturer of cars and airplanes before it went out of business in 1926. It was reincarnated in 1999 to build the C8, which it has been refining ever since.

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