You are here
VW bus gets 523bhp 911 Turbo engine
A man named Fred has built a modified Volkswagen minivan. Not normally Top Gear-worthy news, you might think, except the part where it gets to a 911 Turbo engine and 523bhp.
Pray be upstanding, all, for the Race-Taxi, which this week has appeared at the annual VW Worthersee event; a fine platform to showcase a truly bonkers bus.
Fred has taken an original ‘T1’ from 1962, ripped the body off, and strapped it onto a widened, lengthened ‘T3’ chassis from 1985. “Nostalgia combined with modern technology,” as he explains. That’s ‘modern’ in the looser sense of the word.
Then comes the engine. Fred’s personal motto is ‘everything Porsche’, and as such, he sourced a flat six from a 993-generation 911 Turbo. That’s right, a twin-turbo, air-cooled 3.6-litre flat six monster, mounted on the rear of the T3’s chassis and driving the rear wheels.
Then comes the 996-generation GT3 six-speed gearbox. And front and rear independent suspension with height-adjustable Bilstein struts. And original 993-generation 911 Turbo brakes. And the power steering from the Turbo. And three-piece racing BBS wheels.
So you’re looking at a race-spec bus, weighing some 1500kg, and boasting 523bhp and 558lb ft of torque.
“I wanted to find out what is in the range of possible,” said Fred. Well, it’s certainly possible. It’s also one of the best vans ever. And, of course, this is not quite such an automotive mis-marriage as it might at first appear: both the T1 bus and Porsche 911 can trace their lineage - albeit loosely - to the VW Beetle…