Yesterday we sat down with one of the great risk takers remaining in the auto industry. Victor Muller is CEO of Spyker Cars and took a few minutes from his schedule to share his thoughts on the luxury automotive industry, his battle to save Saab and introduce us to the new B6 Venator Spyder.
On a beautiful sunny day at The Quail Lodge and Golf Club on the Monterey Peninsula we were stopped by the stunning prototype on display in front of Spyker’s white hospitality tent. Upon being invited in, we sat with a causal and relaxed Mr. Muller where he shared his vision for Spyker among other luxury brands and the path a customer takes to get to his cars.
“My owners have a passion for cars. They start their journey young maybe in a BMW or a Porsche and move up to a Ferrari or Aston Martin.” Muller said. “98% of them stop there and are very happy because those are fantastic cars. But some want to separate themselves from others. They say, ‘I want something different, but not something that makes me look like an idiot.'”
That’s where the Venator Spyder comes in. It is different, showcasing Spyker’s aviation heritage in the design of every detail including the tail lamps which are styled to look like the afterburners of a modern fighter jet.
Featuring a carbon fiber body, aluminum frame and transverse mounted V6 the Venator Spyder promises to offer exceptional performance, but it is the overall design and feel of this car that will separate it from others in its class. The turned aluminum fascia for the dash evokes 1920s era aircraft design, with mechanical switches that make it feel as if you are starting a vintage plane. The instrument cluster lighting and lettering follow the theme beautifully. Even the automatic shift mechanism is crafted in an expression of the art deco era.
The B6 Venator Spyder will go into production in mid 2014 and sell for approximately $150,000. With a total build of 250 vehicles, those lucky enough to own one won’t have to worry about seeing another on every street corner.
Finally before ending our conversation, we asked Mr. Muller about his attempt to rescue the Saab brand after GM sold it as a part of its bankruptcy process. Clearly passionate about the brand and still emotional about its demise, he said, “Was it a good business decision? No. But I’m glad I tried to save it.”
Clearly he embodies his company’s slogan: Nulla tenaci invia est via (for the tenacious, no road is impassable). We look forward to spending more time with Mr. Muller and driving the Spyker B6 Venator Spyder when it becomes available to test early next year.