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Donkervoort F22 gets 500hp and weighs (almost) nothing. Image by Donkervoort.

Donkervoort F22 gets 500hp and weighs (almost) nothing
High power and low weight give a Dutch angle on the whole supercar thing.
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What's all this about?

Dutch car maker Donkervoort (a company that should have the motto “Like Caterham but with legal brownies”) has released its new sports car, the F22. And like the stealthy fighter jet that it’s named after, this one is going to be both light and fast.

When you say light...

How about 750kg, or in other words, a little lighter than the last versions of the old Lotus Elise. But while the Lotus’ power output topped out at around 230hp, this Donkervoort is going to have rather more. A nice, round 500hp, in fact, thanks to its Audi-sourced 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder engine.

So it's going to be fast?

Oh yes. Donkervoort doesn’t yet quote a 0-62mph time for the F22, but it does quote a lateral acceleration figure, claiming that the F22 will pull your face sideways in a corner to the tune of 2.15G. Vomit ahoy… Top speed should be on the jail-baiting side of 180mph. Only 75 will be made, up from the original production run of 50 which were all snapped up quicker than Donkervoort expected.

How come it's so light?

Mostly because Donkervoort has years of expertise in that area. This is the first car from the Dutch company since Denis Donkervoort took over as the company’s driving force after his dad, founder Joop Donkervoort, retired in 2021. If that’s not keeping it in the family enough, by the way, the F22 name isn’t actually anything to do with a US Air Force jet plane, it’s actually named for Denis Donkervoort’s first daughter, Filippa, who was born on May 22, 2022.

In fact, the F22 is actually heavy by Donkervoort standards — the previous D8 model tipped the scales at just 698kg — but even so it uses a combo of light steel tubular frame and lashings and lashings of carbon-fibre. Donkervoort actually claims that it’s 100 per cent stiffer than the chassis of the old D8 model. “The key to everything we do is weight. The less weight you carry, the less weight you have to stop, turn and accelerate, and the less fuel you use and the more intimate the car can be,” Denis Donkervoort explained. “The F22 is not all about horsepower or speed, specifications or numbers. It’s personal, and it’s about what driving means to its drivers because perspective is everything,” he said.

That stiffness means Donkervoort has been able to fit cockpit-adjustable dampers, which include a hydraulic ride-height system, which can raise or lower the F22 by as much as 35mm. There are also AP Racing brakes, and specially-made Nankang Tyres. You can have standard alloy wheels which weigh 8kg apiece, if you like, or there are optional carbon rims which weigh a mere 5.4kg each.

Is it pointlessly impractical?

Actually no. The F22 in spite of being so light is actually larger than the outgoing D8 and has a much roomier cabin. There’s an extra 80mm of shoulder room and 100mm more legroom. To keep you in place when that Audi five-pot is doing its thing, there are custom-made Recaro bucket seats and a six-point racing harness.

There is a luggage compartment, and it’s where you can store the two-piece carbon-fibre targa roof when the sun is out. As for dashboard layout, most of the switches have moved, Ferrari-style, to the steering wheel and in the centre of the dash is an iPad Mini, which is your infotainment system. And as if the F22 wasn’t dramatic-looking enough, those are butterfly-style doors, to make your entrance and exit truly eye-catching.

Is it safe?

Well, Donkervoort says it is, thanks in no small part to all that carbon fibre. “We took much care to improve safety,” Donkervoort said. “Torsional rigidity is critical, and all the F22’s crucial parts are now made from Ex-Core Carbon-Fibre [carbon panels with steel reinforcement]. The undertray that covers the tubular parts of the chassis, the side panels, the central bar of the Twin Targa roof and the scuttle; they’re all Ex-Core.”

Donkervoort reckons the car is so safe that the torsional and bending rigidity of the chassis combines with the standard six-point harnesses to help the F22 meet all relevant crash regulations without the need for weighty airbags.

What about options?

The first option you can pick is to have a steering system with no servo assistance or a lightweight, electronically powered, adjustable power-assistance system. We like that — it speaks of true driving enthusiasm to offer a non-PAS option. There is a choice between an electrically powered air conditioning system or the slight weight advantage that comes without it. There are other driver-choice options, like a Bosch ABS system, for those who frequently enjoy track days. Beyond that, even the smallest detail of the F22 can be customised, from one-off paintwork and interior design to embossing the owner’s initials or business logo into the seat trims.

How much is it and when can I have one?

The order book is open now, and Donkervoort hopes to begin deliveries in January 2023. It is a bit pricey — you’re looking at £210,000 without options — but you’re buying something unique and Donkervoort claims “more than 99 percent of all Donkervoorts ever built are still on the road as appreciating assets.”

“The F22 is the pinnacle of what we know with light-weight engineering, strength, combustion engines and pure speed,” said Denis Donkervoort. “The F22 gives Donkervoort drivers new levels of speed, handling, driving purity, design and practicality, and shows the world where Donkervoort is going in the future.?It is brimming with Donkervoort innovations, like the Ex-Core carbon-fibre doors and the Twin Targa roof, but it also is the product of extraordinary teamwork at Donkervoort and leverages working relationships we have made over 43 years. With the arrival of the Donkervoort F22, no other supercar is worth its weight.”



Neil Briscoe - 12 Dec 2022


2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.

2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.2023 Donkervoort F22 Revealed. Image by Donkervoort.








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