First Impressions: Savage Rivale GTR

First Impressions of the Savage Rivale GTR

Goodwood’s organisers were placed with an impossible task this year. Several exclusive trackday tools had been granted admission to the Festival of Speed. But where to place them? They aren’t road legal, which makes the supercar paddock seem a bit of a stretch. They aren’t prototypes so we can’t see them included in FOS Tech.

The solution came through placing them with the endurance racers. So with that in mind, we find ourselves sitting in the Savage Rivale GTR, sandwiched between an FIA GT Championship winning Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and a Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR9LM, waiting to head off up Goodwood’s historic hillclimb. Not a bad place to be.

For those that haven’t heard of Savage, the company headquarters can be found in the Hague, Holland. The Rivale GTR is one of two models currently on offer. The first is the Rivale Roadyacht GTS with an innovative periscope folding roof design. The second is the track-only Rivale GTR, based on the Roadyacht design. It’s the later that we’re interested in today.

Savage Rivale GTR at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012

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The Dutch company have never been short of a gimic. With the Savage GTR, you instantly notice the engine hiding in front of the cockpit, under the dashboard. It’s a 6.2 liter V8 which at the moment is running slightly less power than it will be when complete. Power is pegged at 550hp while the car is evaluated and the tolerances are double checked before further modifications are made. Projections for the finished car include a horsepower figure between 700 and 800. For a car that weighs just 1,030kg, that’s a sensational statistic!

What’s more, all this power will be driven to the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. And that’s the first thing you notice as a passenger in the GTR. The Savage Rivale GTR has an amazing ability to oversteer! From the passenger seat it feels as though the rear wants to step out while also retaining remarkable levels of useability. Tyre shredding occurs at the drivers option. Our pilot, Yelmer Buurman demonstrated that perfectly in front of Goodwood house. Five times in fact! After the smoke cleared though, we managed to get to the top without much more drama.

To achieve this, the GTR features a double wishbone suspension setup with a fully adjustable coilover system to control the suspension movements. The brakes are a ceramic set sourced from Brembo. It’s a solid setup that should mean the car handles nicely. Savage have equipped the GTR with an automatic gearbox for the time being while completing the testing stage. Automatic will be an optional extra on the finished car though, manual being the preferred choice.

Monaco 2012 Savage Rivale GTR

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The GTR is limited to just 69 models so it should be the main model of the Savage range despite not being street legal. It’s essentially the ultimate track day car, weighing just 1,030kg. However, in our opinion, it should also be considered by drift racers! On request, Savage can create a road legal version called the Rivale GTR-S. Only five of these will ever exist though, so don’t expect very many. List price for the GTR is a reasonable 141,250 euros excluding taxes. The price reflects the fact that, unless you’ve ticked the road legal option, you won’t be able to use the GTR on the road!

The GTR loses the Roadyacht’s gimic rear doors, replacing them with static body panels and retaining the front butterfly doors. It gets a static roof which replaces the Roadyacht’s telescopic roof. It also gains a spoiler, a rear diffuser, a straight through exhaust pipe and a striped out interior.

Inside, you’ll find fixed carbon fiber race seats with a four-point safety harness. Five and six point units are also available. Of course, while these are fiddly to set up once you get into the car, you are glad to have them after entering the first corner. Elsewhere, the interior is pretty spartan. There’s a roll cage to protect occupants, a large central tunnel that obviously hides all the mechanical parts necessary to transfer the power from the front to the rear. Safety equipment includes a fire extinguisher and a suspension tool kit.

The Roadyacht’s legacy is felt most in the interior. There’s acres of space behind the rear seats and plenty of legroom. While the roll bars encroach a little on headroom, at 6 foot 1 inch I didn’t feel it was too much of a problem, afterall, the GTR isn’t a car you’d buy and drive everyday. I’m also convinced that Savage would have a solution to this.

Our opinion on the car? It’s early stages at the moment, development is still pushing ahead and the car won’t be read for a while yet. From what we’ve experienced so far, the GTR is sure to be a winner. It’s a unique combination of balls-to-the-wall drift car and exclusive supercar. In many ways it’s a surprising package, you don’t expect something as large as the Savage, to offer as much rear-bias as it does!

Published: August 9, 2012 6:00 pm

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