Sunday, February 17, 2008

HPA Motorsports' GT7 Volkswagen New Beetle

Making speed in HPA Motorsports' GT7 twin-turbo, 500-hp Beetle
One drive in this definition-defying New Beetle, and you'll be ruined for life. Everything you once considered really quick-Corvette, 911 Carrera, M5/Z8, or XKR-will be handily outrun by an HPA Motorsports GT6 Beetle. Go ahead and laugh. The only exotica out there that can touch it are a 911 Turbo, Viper, or a Ferrari 360 Modena. You think we're kidding? Do 500 hp and all-wheel drive change your mind? How about a mere $65,000 pricetag? Interested yet? It's also serviceable at any VW dealership and warranted by its Canadian builder, HPA Motorsports of Langley, British Columbia, for a year on parts and six months on workmanship. HPA's never had to oblige a customer yet, and you know how the buyer of this type of car is likely

to drive it. More amazingly, it's built from all factory VW/Audi OE parts-just put together in a different configuration. "No way!" Yes-way. In fact, so many VW/Audi parts are interchangeable among variants of VW's "A-platform" that, according to HPA, an all-wheel-drive twin-turbo V-6 conversion can be performed on any current-model Beetle, Jetta, Golf/GTI, or Audi TT. Doesn't that send your mind reeling? The Beetle requires the most work, because its engine bay is the smallest, and the floorpan needs to be swapped out to accommodate the driveshaft and rearend. Sadly, you can't get a Beetle with a (VW 4-Motion or Audi quattro) Haldex all-wheel-drive system from VW. The solution is found in its platformmate, the Audi TT quattro. According to HPA's thoroughly hospitable president, Marcel Horn, the operation sounds far more invasive than it really is. Total time to make the floorpan transplant, including adding in the all-wheel-drive pieces, is about 80 hours. And in case you suspect a TT driveline can't handle 500 horses, HPA has confirmed Audi AG's testing of it up to 800 hp without failure. Yes, it's that hardy, and the 34 brutal acceleration launches we made in this Beetle (in one morning!) made us believers.Again, you can't get a Beetle with a V-6-yet. It takes HPA an additional 16 hours to install a 2.8LV-6 engine in a Beetle (either a Euro-spec 204-hp/ 24-valver as this car has or U.S.-spec 174-hp/12-valve VR6) and two KKK turbos good for an additional 304 hp, bringing the total to an amazing 508 hp. Of course, those giant wheels (Porsche Turbo 993-spec) can't possibly fit under the stock Beetle's fenders, so HPA installed a subtle Dietrich Wide Body Cup Kit, as seen on Beetle Cup racers. The other major body mod is a Kersher carbon-fiber wing. Rounding out this tester are KW adjustable coil-over Competition suspension upgrades front and rear, proprietary HPA/HGP reprogrammed Bosch Motronic ECU with port fuel injection, VW Motorsport/Sachs race clutch, HPA/HGP 3-in.-diameter T-304 stainless-steel exhaust, a paint job, matching rollbar, and a gauge package. The best part is the use of so much factory stuff that already bolts together, speaks the same electro-mechanical language, and looks right-because it is right.

HPA Motorsports' GT7 Volkswagen New Beetle


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