History is littered with failed attempts at small-brand supercars. Only a few have survived, such as Koenigsegg and Noble. However, that doesn’t mean that, among the less successful brands, there haven’t been some truly great cars. One of which is the Spyker C8, which wasn’t the most successful of limited-run supercars but was epic nevertheless. It was also powered by Audi.
The Dutch supercar was developed under the Spyker name, a long-forgotten name in the automobile industry. In 2000, the name was reborn and the Spyker C8 was the car to lead the charge. Its extremely high price tag and limited production kept it from being very successful but it left a huge stamp on the brains of a lot of enthusiasts.
One of the biggest reasons behind the intrigue of the C8 was its looks. Technically, the “C8 Preliator” name but it’s been updated since then and looks a bit different. However, even the original car could be sold today and it would look modern and wonderful.
The best part of the C8’s design, though, was its interior. Inside the Spyker C8, you’ll notice many aviation-inspired design elements, which represents the brand’s adventures in aviation back during the first World War. But the star of the cabin is the shifter. It’s a completely exposed six-speed manual gear linkage that’s made from wonderfully milled aluminum and it’s absolutely gorgeous. If you think the Audi R8’s open-gate manual was cool, this will blow your flipping mind.
Speaking of six-speed and Audi, that row-your-own box was paired with a 4.2 liter Audi V8, which made 400 hp. The free-breathing Audi engine was mounted in the middle and drove the rear wheels through the aforementioned six-speed. The Audi R8 didn’t exist when the C8 was first introduced, so the Spyker was actually the first mid-engine supercar to be powered by an Audi V8.
Sadly, the Spyker C8 didn’t end up selling very well and has sort of been forgotten. Which is a shame because it was such a cool car. It packed a naturally-aspirated Audi V8 into a stunning package with possibly the greatest manual shifter in history.
The C8 was updated a few times over the past couple of decades, with the C8 Aileron being the most popular model. If you want one, any one, you’ll have to pay an eye-watering sum, as C8s are rare and hard to come by, so they’re not cheap. However, the Spyker C8 may be one of those rare cars that’s actually worth the money, as it’s so incredibly unique and special that it will provide an experience that you just can’t get in an equally-priced Ferrari or Lamborghini. Plus, it’s powered by an Audi engine, so it will actually work.