Note; the post below has been translated with Google Translate.
Report Volante visit Donkervoort
Postponing an event sometimes results in cancelation. But this does not apply to our visit to Donkervoort in Lelystad. The Dutch car manufacturer, which has been building cars for more than 40 years. Volante was a guest on Saturday 2 October to view this factory and the vehicles from the inside. Expectations were high at Donkervoort, because they don’t have a group of former students from our study visit every day.
After a welcome cup of coffee (the roads are endless there in Flevoland), the group is split in two. One group went to see the production of the vehicles. The other group went on to boost material knowledge. Namely fiber optic and Ex-core.
The basis of every Donkervoort is a tubular frame that originated in the Lotus Superseven and the Caterham. Laser-cut tubes with a material thickness of 1.2 mm are joined together by means of copper welding. This thin material ensures that a complete frame weighs approximately 62 kg. A famous saying of the founder of Lotus was: “Simplify, then add lightness”. Joop Donkervoort has always implemented this philosophy in his cars. With a bit of luxury here and there if the customer wishes. A Donkervoort weighs about 700 kg ready-made, and that with a street-legal power of a maximum of 309 kW.
The cars are made in batches of 3 pieces. In takt times of 6 weeks. After this period, all chassis move one place in the factory. To leave the factory at the end “of the line” and 5,000 parts as a Donkervoort.
Fiberglass and Ex-Core, another important pillar of the company. At Donkervoort, they make as much as possible in-house. Fiberglass due to the strength and low weight of the material. You can find it in doors, seats and other panels. A time-consuming process of pasting, baking and post-processing.
A while back they accidentally discovered a process they called Ex-Core. A very lightweight material, which is relatively easy to process. A fast turnaround time is also an advantage, in addition to saving on energy costs. After the addition of a fire-resistant material, Ex-Core is also flame-retardant. Actually, this development only has advantages, which some Formula 1 teams have not missed… Donkervoort has patented it, so we will probably hear about it soon.
The time flew by. Witness the fact that we were kindly requested to report for the closing drink and snack. After a nice drink, the mutual ties were strengthened again. After another tour of the showroom and the shop, it was time to leave the Lelystad area. With a beautiful book about “40 Years of Donkervoort” in the bag. Nice club, nice techniques and above all a nice start of, I hope, a new “school year” in which we can experience beautiful things with Volante.
You can view some photos of the visit below.Photos Volante visit Donkervoort