The Geneva International Motor Show has long been a hotbed of new model launches and car makers generally trying to prove that ‘their’s is bigger’. 2016’s event has been no different, with both Bugatti and Koenigsegg deciding that the world needs 1500 horsepower cars and English firm Arash upping the ante with their 2000 horsepower AF10.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s all sounding a little irrelevant. 2000 horsepower from a car made in England sounds about as reliable and usable as, well, a 2000 horsepower car made in England. I’m sure Floyd Maywether with be chuffed with his new Bugatti when he gets it, but if I could take one car from Geneva home, I’d be talking to Spyker. The C8 Preliator, like previous Spyker’s, has been heavily influenced by the firm’s aviation history and much like other Spykers, probably won’t sell very well, which is a crying shame.
The C8 Preliator is fitted with a 40 valve Audi V8 like previous iterations of the C8’s but this time gains a supercharger. The newly acquired supercharger turns the wick up to 518 horsepower at 6800rpm and 600nm of torque at a relatively low 3500rpm, which is not bad when you consider it weighs in at just under 1400 kilograms. The ubiquitous performance stats’ read well too, with 0-100km/h coming up in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of just over 320km/h. It’s not all about straight-line speed either with suspension tuned by Lotus that features an “anti-dive and anti-squat setup” and components made from forged aluminium where possible to keep un-sprung weight in check. Sticking with reducing un-sprung weight, carbon ceramic AP Racing brakes are available as an option, as are gold foiled calipers.
The thing that really takes this car over the line for me is the stunning detailing that can be seen throughout. While I’d argue that the gold foiled brake calipers, roof and engine cover are a bit naff (despite the fact they were done this way to better dissipate heat) the Turbofan™ wheels and the way the daytime running lights are inset in the front air scoops to reflect off the satin paint is frankly, beautiful. All of this is before you’ve even opened the scissor door and seen the exposed manual gear shift which has to be one of my favourite parts of the Preliator and indeed previous Spykers.
So the C8 Preliator might not have horsepower stats’ that resemble postcodes but it certainly makes the most of what it does have. Some will argue that it’s a car from a previous era, which is more than likely linked to Spyker’s less than ideal financial history, but one has to appreciate its authenticity. There’s no traction control, no active suspension modes or engine maps, just traditional Spyker styling and detailing. You might not be able to claim that ‘your’s is bigger’ when you’re driving your Spyker, but you could say it’s more beautiful…