Monday, 28 April 2014

Spyker B6 Venator Spyder

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Owning a Spyker is like being in an exclusive club for brilliant eccentrics. The C8 Aileron is a wilfully obtuse, bejewelled trinket with an Audi V8, a machine-turned dash and an exposed gear linkage. The D12 Peking-to-Paris concept was way ahead of its time back in 2008, with a W12 heart and sumptuously trimmed bucket seats - had it survived to production, it'd certainly have shown Bentley's forthcoming SUV a thing or two about style and belligerence. Spykers are for moneyed lunatics who feel that Koenigseggs are bit common.

SuckSqueezeBangBlow was present for the European unveiling of this celebration of Dutch weirdness, the Venator, at last year's Salon Privé. Latin for 'Hunter', it aims to shake up the supercar sphere by eschewing the swept-volume arms race of V8s, V10s and V12s, instead employing a mid-mounted V6. This refined unit is more than man enough for the otherworldy thrust that the shocking looks promise, with 375bhp propelling the lissom sub-1400kg form. This is very much of the performance car zeitgeist at present, with high-end metal seeing a shift toward lighter weight and less need for stratospheric bhp figures; the Veyron, for example, feels something of a juvenile anachronism alongside the grown-up Venator.

Just as you'd hope from a new Spyker, the B6 is a riot of peculiarities, most notably the individually-lettered chrome slogan on the flanks: 'Nulla tenaci invia est via' - the company's slogan, meaning 'For the tenacious, no road is impassable'. (That's all very well, but try bouncing the Venator over the potholes of southwest London...) The physics-bending LED tail-lights echo the iris-type propelling nozzle of a jet engine, while the interior is as close as you're likely to get to an ultra-luxury vintage aircraft without some kind of plutocratic time machine. It's the kind of car that leaves you awestruck - the level of detail, the quality of the fit-and-finish, it's like a finely tailored suit. The fact that it's so astounding and deliberately odd in its design merely complements the quality.
So... your new favourite performance car?

See more photos from Salon Privé 2013 here.

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