After years of financial struggle, vague concept vehicles, and broken promises, Spyker Automotive is getting serious about its renewal. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because Spyker once made some truly awe-inspiring works of automotive art.
At the turn of the millennium, the Dutch automaker introduced the C8 — a wild convertible supercar with an Audi R8 heart. Between 2000 and 2010, a number of concepts and a dozen variants of the C8 were introduced, included a luxury SUV design study: the D8 Peking-to-Paris.
Spyker would go on to purchase Saab Automobiles from GM in 2010, but just two years later, Saab went bankrupt. In 2014, Spyker went bust, and after going through a restructuring process rebounded a year or so later. Just last year, the new Spyker Cars introduced the C8 Preliator, a 525-horsepower beauty that would be produced in limited quantities.
Cool, but even assuming Spyker sells every one of its 50 planned Preliators each year, that isn’t enough to revive the company. That is why the company is renewing plans for a luxury SUV. In 2006, Spyker’s D8 Concept was ahead of its time. Luxury SUVs are now one of the fastest growing segments in the automotive industry. Had it produced its concept, it might have walked a very different path. Alas, the innovation window has closed, but jumping on the bandwagon is still a good idea.
According to Autocar, the SUV will be powered by a gas-electric powertrain and will be co-developed with Lotus.
“It will be an advanced hybrid SUV and one of the most beautiful cars of its kind,” Spyker boss Victor Muller said. “Its specifications are already set and, if things go well, I’d dream of showing it at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018.”
Once the D8 hits production, Miller will make his company more accessible with an entry-level, six-cylinder sports car based on the B6 Venator concept. “This will become a core part of our product range,” Muller said, “giving us the volume and interest for a step-change in dealer presence and visibility.”
Spyker hopes to produce 500 units annually by 2027.
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