The people behind the Donkervoort F22Wednesday 12/7/2022
Before you see what Donkervoort has created with the F22, we thought you’d like to know how it was designed and why, to them, Donkervoort is not just a car company.
The F22 development program has Managing Director Denis Donkervoort’s fingerprints all over it, in every bolt, electrical connection and strand of carbon.
Donkervoort’s driving force, Denis Donkervoort, has focused Donkervoort’s design team, led by Jordi Wiersma and mentored by world-leading designer Amko Leenarts.
While Donkervoort was born into the supercar maker, Leenarts met founder Joop Donkervoort when he was 12, having asked the “Professor” if he could show him a model of the Donkervoort he had made.
After studying architecture, Leenarts joined Peugeot as a designer, then moved to Ford, which took him to America until his return as Ford of Europe’s Head of Design.
Leenarts has remained in close contact with Donkervoort since 2017 and sits on the four-person Donkervoort Advisory Board.
“I have the honour to help continue the Donkervoort adventure,” Leenarts said.
“Thanks to that connection, I was invited by Denis to join the Advisory Board, and it felt like a very special moment, and it closed the circle in one of my favourite brands.
“I was inspired by Joop when I was very young, and I could never have dreamed of having that close connection to the brand and the family.
“It’s beneficial that I am there as a design advisor and Joop and Denis embraced me from Day One as an expert in the field.”
Leenarts’ role is advisory to in-house Donkervoort design head Jordi Wiersma, and the two have online meetings every Wednesday night.
“I have plenty of energy, and I am as much inspired by them as they are by me,” Leenarts explained.
“Donkervoort is a small, agile family company with an entrepreneur feeling, and it’s a bit taking on the world with the products and brands, and I like that.”
upped the game
The Denis Donkervoort era has given engineers and designers the freedom to find their niches, and none have been more successful than the head of Donkervoort’s design department, Jordi Wiersma.
Wiersma started at Donkervoort during the development of the D8 GT, and the importance of drawing the first Donkervoort in the new era then is not lost on him.
“It has been a really cool project. Everybody has come together and found their area beautifully,” he said.
“It’s sometimes more interesting to see what a car does to the company rather than what the company does to the car.
“Denis gives everybody their space and responsibility in the project to do what they were good at, and we really upped the game because of that.
“It’s way beyond what we have done in the past.”
While Wiersma pushed the design in direction and detail, he used Leenarts as he asked to be used - as an advisor rather than an extra designer.
“It’s not a fine line about who designed what. The F22 was done in-house,” Leenarts explained.
“There are a couple of things where I helped a lot, but larger ideas rather than pure design.
“Things like the ambition-setting in the beginning, to what we have in the F22, for example.
“I was pushing to make sure that what we did with the design was clean, with a more integrated design and fewer parts, which means we produced at a much higher quality rate.”
Leenarts also helped Donkervoort access cutting-edge modelling tools and equipment to ensure higher build quality in production.
“The second thing was getting the pieces much more proof-modelled by using all the CAD tools that we have at hand.
“We had to build a digital proof of what’s coming out of the factory because the data is the truth.
Register here for the Donkervoort F22 launch on YouTube on Saturday, December 10, at 4 PM.
About Donkervoort Automobielen
Established in 1978 by Joop Donkervoort and now led by his son, Denis, Donkervoort Automobielen has sold more than 1,500 cars. Operating from Lelystad, The Netherlands, with a team of over 50 experts, the company initially gained renown with the D10 in 1988, setting a world acceleration record, followed by the D8 270 RS in 2005 with a record lap at the Nürburgring. The F22, further integrating their patented, advanced Ex-Core carbon fibre technology, set a new benchmark in 2023 by achieving 2.3g of lateral acceleration at the Zandvoort circuit, surpassing the D8 GTO-JD70's previous 2.1g record, showcasing Donkervoort’s engineering prowess. Their focus on exclusive, tailored supercars and driving lifestyle experiences continues to embody the ‘Living the Drive’ ethos. Looking to the future, Donkervoort hints at more innovations, continuing the brand's adventurous evolution.
For more information, please visit www.donkervoort.com
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