Remember when the Golf used to be called the Rabbit? Well, meet the Killer VW Rabbit of Caerbannog: twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive, 740hp, rip-your-head-clean-off insanity in the body of a 6th gen Golf. Run away! Run away! Somebody fetch me the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!
For video of this thing ripping around a backroad, and a more in-depth look at the car and the shop that builds it, you can find it here at one of my regular Canadian-press outlets. I figured something this nutty deserved a little more attention. And possibly some kind of health warning.
If you’ve played early versions of Gran Turismo [Edited: sorry, eh?], you’re probably already familiar with HPA’s work. They’ve been at this sort of mad-scientist Vee-Dubbin’ for more than two decades - I remember reading reviews of their R-GT Jetta in an old Sport Compact Car magazine years ago - and it was with some surprise that I found out they were just up the road from me. I’ve visited the shop a couple times over the years, and saw this thing under the knife in their new digs in an industrial site in Langley, BC.
That’s right, HPA is Canadian. Sure we’re flappy-headed, beady-eyed, bilingual, and polite, but we can be crazy too. Scotty off of Star Trek was from BC too, and he shot two snipers and survived being machine-gunned in the chest during the D-Day Normandy invasions.
But I digress. The HPA FT740 has a strengthened 3.6L V6 out of a Passat, a reinforced 7-speed DSG from the European-market Audi TT-RS, huge brakes, massive boost, and a bunch of Osiris aero kit.
The specs are ludicrous. HPA claims 0-60mph in 2.8s, 0-125mph in 8.9s, and 0-190mph in 22s. That’s pretty much good enough to go door-to-door with the new Lamborghini SV down a runway, and you can do it with your hockey bag in the trunk. Just out fer a rip are ya bud? Fackin’ right, eh?
Closest thing I’ve driven is possibly the Tesla P85D, but while that thing is all about the insta-torque holeshot, the acceleration does fall off as speeds rise. In the FT740, it just pulls harder as you go up through the gears. Traction is an issue at low speeds, so as it hooks up, it just gets more bonkers. It’s also Quite Loud, with all that air getting rammed into the cylinders and a trick dual-fuelling system. And the screaming. There’s a lot of screaming too. Where’s that coming from?
I brought this 911 GTS along as a sort of yardstick, but HPA’s four-doored hooligan snapped it in half, set fire to it, and then pee’d on the ashes. And yes, that’s a 565hp Scirocco in the background. This same powertrain is getting shoehorned into a Rallye Golf in the shop, one that’s gonna get DTM-style even-more-flares, and probably slicks. Lunacy!