First Drive: 2010 Spyker C8 Aileron

But we didn't travel all the way to Arizona just for cruising. Drop the hammer, and the 3185-pound Aileron shoots forward with impressive (if not mind-blowing) authority. Russo says the car is capable of the same 4.5-second sprint to 60 mph as the short wheelbase C8, thanks largely to better traction. It also feels right at home on a winding mountain road. The marvelous, Lotus-tuned suspension, combined with a perfect, 45/55 percent weight distribution and sticky 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tires, make the Aileron an easy car to drive fast, though the lack of any stability or traction control tends to dampen the temptation to explore its absolute limits. In the midst of all this fun, the automatic transmission feels decidedly out of place. Even in paddle-controlled manual mode, the Aileron can be slow to downshift and won't hold gears to redline. There's room for improvement, as Russo says our test car's transmission had not been updated with the latest software, but we hope there will be a manual available at some point down the line to complete the Aileron's unfiltered experience.

That said, the Aileron ultimately is not about the way it drives, even though it drives quite well. Those looking for impressive performance numbers or razor-edge dynamics can find several quicker Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis for the Aileron's $219,190 base price. In fact, the average Spyker buyer owns several of those cars already. Instead, the Aileron is about its very real uniqueness. As we pulled through the Barrett-Jackson auction, where Testarossas and are about as common as Corollas, heads turned and the beer-drinking masses barraged us with questions and appeals to "light 'em up." Spyker believes that this sort of exclusivity, coupled with the Aileron's somewhat broader appeal compared to the original C8 (which will remain available for special order), will attract about 75 buyers per year. That would be enough volume, the company says, for it to achieve profitability for the first time and continue work on future projects, which include a large SUV.

Base price: $219,190
On sale: Late 2010
Engine: 4.2L V-8
Power: 400 hp
Torque 354 lb-ft
Curb Weight: 3185 lbs
0-60: 4.5 seconds (est)
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 235/35Y-19 (Front) 295/30Y-19 (Rear)

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imo this is one of the most beautiful car i've ever seen
What gorgeous interior craftsmanship!

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