Donkervoort D8 GT

Donkervoort is by no means a household name but it is a well established company, which has been building lightweight sports cars ever since 1978. The founder of the company, Joop Donkervoort, started off in a shed building his own versions of the Lotus Seven with a 2 litre Ford engine, which he later replaced with Audi engines.

Initially his cars were open two seaters built as simply as possible with no pansy electronic aids such as power steering, anti-lock braking systems or electronic stability programmes; but this 'back to basics' approach was what his customers appreciated.

The D8 GT was the first enclosed car that the company manufactured and it came out in 2007. Built at the company's new factory in Lelystad in The Netherlands it doubled as a long distance grand tourer, or an out and out racing car; with a choice of turbocharged 1.8 litre engines providing up to 270 brake horsepower this was fast car hitting 60 mph from a standing start in around 3.6 seconds and with a top speed of 155 mph.

What helps with performance is the fact that this is an extremely light car. The handbuilt body, doors and bumpers were made of carbon fibre which is not only extremely strong but also so light that the entire car weighed just 1433 pounds.

The company is still in business producing ultra lightweight sports cars with the power, performance and roadholding of top racing cars. They still avoid 'unnecessary" electronics even yet.