Everything Is Wrong With This Audi

Everything Is Wrong With This Audi

The defining traits of an Audi: stealth speed, boutique engines, all-wheel drive. The defining traits of this Audi built up for drifting in Japan: extreme volume, a crate motor, rear-wheel drive. It’s all wrong, and that’s part of why I adore it.

Perhaps a bigger part of why I adore it comes down to the headers. They snake all the way around the engine and collect at the front before winding back out under the car. They’re stainless steel into titanium, and they scream at the top end as much as they burble and chop at idle.

The reason they wrap around as they do is because the very German Audi engine and its associated complexities are long gone, replaced by an LSX V8 crate motor. Between the narrow strut towers there was room for the pushrod American V8, but not for it and a set of normal headers stretching out and back. So up and out the headers went, custom made by SPAN Racing Technology, also responsible for the build as a whole.

All in, the thing looks like a DTM car standing still but like a two-door JZX100 when it’s moving. It sounds like a muscle car at idle and a short course truck up in the revs. It’s everything at once, everything that’s not your usually staid hi-po Audi.

Longtime pro drifter Robbie Nishida got to test the thing at Minami in Ebisu and it was a real smoke machine, whiting out the cabin of the car in a lap or two. It’s not a car that shreds only at the highest reaches of the rev range, like some screaming SR20. It has so much torque that it just liquifies the tires the moment Robbie touches the gas. It’s fun to watch, though probably more fun to watch in person, provided you had some ear protection.