AN INTERVIEW WITH SPYKER'S VICTOR MULLER
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Published on Tue, Jan 12, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
SPYKER'S VICTOR MULLER
John Grafman: Spyker has a new vehicle out, could you tell us a little bit about that? Victor Muller: Of course I can. We are looking here at the Spyker C8 Aileron, and Aileron Spyder. The Aileron Spyder is here for the first time, it is just now being launched. These are our second generation cars, basically all new design. Brand new chassis, brand new body - brand new everything. Brand new suspension, made by Lotus, our neighbors here at the show. If you get down on your hands and knees, you can see that it is the same suspension used on the Lotus Evora, probably the best suspension in the business. It is combined with the super stiff aluminum space frame, which has 29,500 newton-meters per degree torsional stiffness, which provides for an unprecedented ride; I would say, best in class. The vehicle shows the 'Classic Spyker Shape', if you will, incorporating the glass roof, air intakes inspired more by turbine air inlets than the propeller shape that we used previously, but still very recognisable as a Spyker Car. JG: What sort of design changes, in your mind, are the best on this vehicle? VM: I think that the best thing that we did was to make the car bigger, particularly for this, the North American market. A long wheelbase car has much more presence. Also, we made the car more square, so the front end, which is fairly narrow on the short wheelbase models, is now wider, which adds to the total appearance. The Spyder was designed in the year 2000, and now it is almost 2010, so it is obvious that the car's styling is 'aging gracefully'. But this car, the new Aileron, is clearly a car of the present era, and there can be no misunderstanding - this is a modern car. JG: This (car) is very similar, with respect to your previous model, will Spyker have any other models that differ wildly from what we already see? VM: Oh yeah, definitely. Next year will see the introduction of the Spyker V8 Peking-to-Paris, our 4WD, 4 door, mid-engined, super sports sedan. We call it an SSUV, Super Sports Utility Vehicle. That car follows the bloodline (shares the DNA?) of the Aileron, of course, and is of a similar design, albeit a completely different car. It is a very different concept that clearly has the Spyker DNA.
The Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder prototypeÂ (Nakano)
JG: When can we expect to see that in the showrooms? VM: The end of 2010. JG: When will the vehicles that we see here, the Aileron, be available? VM: They are actually already available, the first ones are in the USA, and dealer deliveries will take place in the first quarter of 2010. JG: With regards to the interior, will we see something similar to the Aileron in the SSUV? VM: Yes, but even better, because the Peking-to-Paris is more of a luxury car. JG: Are we going to see more aggressive marketing by Spyker in the North American market? VM: Definitely, yes. This car, having an automatic gearbox with paddle shifters is catering to a market niche 10-20 times larger than that of the short wheelbase cars with manual gearboxes. So, yes, there will be an increase in our marketing dollars in this market. We have already spent more in 2009 than we ever have in this market. The wonderful thing about this financial crisis is that it is a 'two edged sword'. When you spend marketing dollars at a time when people have stopped spending, your 'voice' is much louder. I would say that we are getting not 2, but 10 times the value for our marketing dollars than we got in, say, 2007. We definitely are getting more 'bang for the buck'.
No one does interiors like Spyker (Nakano) JG: So, you are in the right place at the right time. VM: I think so. I think that new product in this market, where nobody is spending a penny on marketing, allows us, with relatively modest funds, to have a very large impact ... and that's what we do. JG: Do you foresee a need for any new powerplants in addition to what you already offer? VM: Yes, there is a new powerplant in the Peking-to-Paris, a more powerful engine, and we will be announcing that in the very near future. JG: Will you be looking at any alternative engines..? VM: Certainly the Peking-to-Paris will offer a hybrid solution sometime in the future. Managing Editor Bill Wright assisted with this interview. For more information about Spyker products: www.spykercars.comÂ