When driven along the fjords of western Norway, the Spyker C8 Aileron just might turn more heads than the landscape
Author Jordan Heller Illustration Brett Affrunti
If simply driving this ostentatious Dutch supercar among the reserved citizens of Norway hadn’t already made us feel like Hollywood blowhards at Grandma’s tea party, parking it did. When we popped open the switchblade doors at Bore Beach, just south of Stavanger, even the surfers felt it was too much. But vertical doors sure are nice when you’re backing a quarter-million-dollar ride into a tight spot.
The aviation theme really comes through on the dash, which has a brushed aluminum finish inlaid with green backlit analog dials and switches that call to mind the control panels of vintage aircraft—a nod to Spyker’s rich history of having made fighter planes during World War I. Trust us, you won’t be bothered by the absence of a digital touch-screen.
The company’s motto, Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via, is etched on the two exhausts in the rear. By the sound of these pipes—especially after you hit the “Sport” mode switch—you’d think the translation was, I Am Spyker, Hear Me Roar. It’s actually For the Tenacious, No Road Is Impassible. Not to be a total show-off, the car has two additional exhaust pipes hidden under the chassis.
The fully independent double-wishbone suspension system helped us along the gravelly back roads of Sjernarøy Island, which offer stellar views of the area’s majestic fjords. We took it slow, but for some of the rougher road we encountered, it helped having the Spyker’s ride height elevation system, which lifts the chassis an additional 40 mm above the ground.
The otherworldly Trollstigen, or troll’s path—which zigzags between Lake Langvatnet and the Sogge Bridge in Romsdal—is a more appropriate setting for the Spyker, the cockpit of which made us feel we were in Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder: Classic padded-leather deep-bucket seats and interior combine with an aeronautical theme to evoke the feeling of flying just above the road.
Norwegian police take speeding very seriously. In fact, according to Avisa Nordland, a French tourist spent 18 days in jail last year for going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. Tales of four-figure fines are also rampant. So if you’re going to speed, best leave those smokeys in the dust. The Spyker’s 4.2-liter V8 engine, which goes from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed near 190 mph, ought to help.
The manual transmission paddle shifters came in handy in the three-mile Finnøy Tunnel as we headed north toward Sjernarøy Island. With a steep descent reaching 660 feet under the sea, we quickly found ourselves doing 100 mph without even trying. Downshifting was the way to handle it. Then we opened up the windows and listened to the rpms echo against the walls. Thrilling!
The scoop on the roof feeds fresh air into the engine bay to cool the engine and other components. But, in addition to function, it’s quite a fashionable design note. Ilja Vasiljev, our able seaman on the car ferry headed to Finnøy, took note. “We never see cars like this in Norway,” he told us. “Even the richest people here—and this is a very rich country—would never feel comfortable driving something this crazy.”