At first, the question has to be why would you get rid of the original V8 or V10? There are plenty of time attack R8s around with the original motors, tuned or stock, left in place. But this is no ordinary 2.0-litre four-banger, but an aluminium block unit from, of all things, a Volkswagen Golf Mk3. To that a Garret HTA turbo has been added, enough for 650PS and 550Nm (407lb ft) of torque at 2.1lb of boost. Because the engine is so light and the car has been gutted entirely, this R8 weighs just 956kg – less than a VW Up GTI.
The car rips. The sound is quite boring, that’s for sure, even with its turbo whistles, but that immense power combined with a very obvious lack of weight shoots it up this hill at an almost unbelievable rate. I wouldn’t throw away a V8 or V10, but still, what a car.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Take a tour of Monaco with Patrick Depailler