Maybe a 1,800hp Lupo dragster isn’t the best idea...
Is it worth trading power for driveability?
Santa Pod is probably the best-known dragstrip in the UK as it welcomes all sorts of weird and wonderful creations looking to squeeze the most out of the quarter-mile sprint.
In fact, if ridiculously modified cars are your thing, then I would advise you to visit the oldest drag racing venue in Europe. One of the most notable cars to have a go on the quarter-mile run of tarmac is a heavily modified VW Lupo that looks more like the Batmobile than a small hatchback.
Under the extended wheelbase and slick tyre surface, Frankenstein’s Lupo is powered by not one, but two Golf R engines giving a total of 1,800hp. That power is sent through two separate DSG gearboxes to separate axle. Therefore, they have a Ferrari FF-esc all-wheel drive system with even more complexity due to the two different powertrains.
The crew that runs this car have previously been able to set a quarter-mile time of 8.79 seconds in Romania with a slightly less powerful version of the car. However, when trying to improve that time at Santa Pod with an additional 600hp, the car wasn’t compliant enough to go under the nine second mark.
This is proof that, sometimes, power isn’t the solution for a higher speed, even when going in a straight line. The crazy amount of power is pulling the car to one side because of our old friend, torque steer. In the first run, this nearly causes a nasty crash as the car suddenly veers off into the other lane.
Despite seeing this, I’m sure people will continue on their pursuit of ridiculous amounts of power. In my opinion, DOP Motorsport, the car owners, should focus on the car’s suspension setup and alignment which might be able to contain some of the power and keep the car on a straight course.
This is an extreme case of what we see in the tuning world everyday. In fact, many car enthusiasts often look to boost their power figures without thinking about their car's drivability. Is it really worth having such huge amounts of power if it comes to the detriment to the car's handling?