Design work for Spyker Automobielen BV

C8 Aileron based specials

Not all customers appreciated the transition from the propeller- to the turbine-era styling. One customer requested a custom vehicle which would feature styling elements from previous production vehicles as well as show-only prototypes on the then new C8 Aileron platform.

Spyker C12 LaTurbie prototype

Spyker C12 LaTurbie prototype

Similar to the C12 LaTurbie prototype, the customer wanted his vehicle to feature 'nostrils', polished metal/chrome ornaments such as door mirrors, light tubes and side air intakes and a quad-pipe exhaust configuration.

Spyker C8 Long Wheelbase with faux riveted body panels and extended wheel arches.

Spyker C8 Long Wheelbase with faux riveted body panels and extended wheel arches.

Furthermore the customer requested propeller style wheels, riveted body panels and extended wheel arches as on some special Long Wheelbase versions of the C8.

'Standard' Spyker C8 Aileron and custom design proposal

'Standard' Spyker C8 Aileron and custom design proposal

The customer liked the design proposal so much that he ordered a second vehicle for his brother! The brother requested the styling to be similar to the LM85 edition of the C8, so we made another proposal for that one.

Spyker C8 LM85 and the second custom design proposal

Spyker C8 LM85 and the second custom design proposal

The designs were approved on the basis of discussions and several renderings and the technical development then started properly. The custom wheels were optimised for strength and manufacturability with the supplier. All wheels were individually machined, allowing the 'propeller vanes' to point in the correct direction, opposed to the cast items on the series vehicle which pointed in the wrong direction on one side of the vehicle. It was a challenge to make the transition from single center-nut to the 5-nut hub and not mess up the spoke styling due to the changed ratios between wheel diameter and spoke length. I managed to make it look pretty good by manipulating the length of some of the surfaces.

Some components of the custom vehicles

Some components of the custom vehicles

The inlet tubes were a bitch to make; we got them machined out of billet in the end, polished and finished with a clear coating.

The custom vehicle being assembled by Spyker colleagues

The custom vehicle being assembled by Spyker colleagues

Fortunately the customers did not request any rear wings.

Road-legal C8 Aileron prototype

One of the main investors in the company wanted to own and drive the first C8 Aileron. He preferred the original show car prototype which was presented on Geneva in 2008 to the 'production' version which was presented on Geneva in 2009.

Problem was that the show car was merely a static dummy. Most of the components were simply not road-worthy. A thorough analysis had to be done to determine which components could be used (and we scrapped about half of them in the end).

The customer wanted the vehicle to be converted from LHD to RHD, since he wanted to use it for commuting to his office in London. Furthermore he wanted an automatic transmission, which made us decide to use the newer C8 Aileron drivetrain. This aided to the emissions requirements from the UK IVA as well. Underbody though it required a completely new design rear frame, to host the new drivetrain and altered suspension. The front was redesigned to feature a better crash structure.

C8 Aileron prototype show car and finished IVA approved vehicle; the devil is in the details.

C8 Aileron prototype show car and finished IVA approved vehicle; the devil is in the details.

Some extra features requested by the customer were a new powerful audio system as well as navigation. Custom housing for this had to be created, as well as extra sound proofing to actually make it worth the effort. For some V8 music is not enough.

This car also featured a new custom wheel design, since the show car featured machined facia which were welded to donor-rims. They were not considered to be safe, so I designed custom items. This time the challenge was to integrate the turbine spokes on a center-nut mounting. The design was modified compared to the Aileron wheels to create less visual mass around the wheel nut by extending the spokes while adjusting the ET-values and tire-/rim-width, allowing the wheels to be positioned correctly relative to the suspension and vehicle body.

Never knew a fuel filler cap could give such a headache.

C8 Aileron remote control

The previous generation remote control not only did not match the 'turbine' styling, it also was not compatible with the new Clifford alarm system.

Previous generation remote control a.k.a. 'the puck'

Previous generation remote control a.k.a. 'the puck'

The new design was supposed to have the same functionality (unlock doors, unlock trunk, open Left and Right door). An extra wish was to use only authentic materials, since this was an item which customers would obviously touch.

My design colleague started the design of this remote control which was supposed to come with the C8 Aileron. Due to other development department priorities, he was not allowed to finish the design and it was handed over to me. Based on his proposal and with his feedback, I got to the following design proposal.

Spyker C8 Aileron top view and the remote control design proposal

Spyker C8 Aileron top view and the remote control design proposal

My design carried over the proposed outer contours and dimensions (since they proved to be comfortable to hold and elegant to look at) and the relative position of the buttons (defined by the PCB of the alarm remote), while I placed the buttons via the golden ratio relative to the housing and added the typography and actual construction details.

Lots of fine-tuning was needed to get the buttons to behave as desired.

This design proposal unfortunately had horrible RF performance, even when we used a microwave oven strength transmitter (the US allows for remotes which can open a garage on 6 miles distance…). The completely metallic enclosure had to be modified and glass and ceramic core options were explored. These could not be made to the required tolerances, so polycarbonate in either black or white (customer option) was chosen. The polished PC surface contrasted nicely with the brushed metal finish of all the other components.

We explored 3D printing/additive manufacturing for these components, but the symbols looked horrible on some samples. We ended up with the rather costly machining, but at least it looked and felt good. Since customers were willing to pay a premium for that, we kept it like this.