Published on April 8th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Tanner Foust returns to Formula D with a 900 hp… Passat
The world of professional drifting is rife with some crazy builds, all in the pursuit of high power and extreme slip angles. It’s not uncommon to see entire cars sporting space frame rear ends, and 1000 hp is more common than you’d expect. But one thing that’s seemingly common, with the exception of Aasbo’s Scion TC, is that all of these cars start out as rear-wheel drive platforms.
Well, that Scion TC is about to have another FF-based brother. It comes in the form of Tanner Foust’s Volkswagen Passat, developed for the 2015 season. Foust is no stranger to Formula D, competing with a variety of manufacturers over the years. Naturally the engine has been swapped from transverse to longitudinal mounting for the rear wheel drive conversion.
Volkswagen fans were hoping that Foust would be able to fettle one of the more powerful Volkswagen engines to produce the high horsepower output necessary for competition. One of the large V8s or V10s from VAG would have sufficed with the help of some turbocharging, but instead Foust opted for a more traditional high-capacity V8 engine.
The engine makes a good 700 hp in pure naturally aspirated tune. It does, after all, have 7.4 litres of displacement to begin with. Throw in a few shots of nitrous and the engine is good for 900 hp, making it competitive enough for Foust to stick it to the door of his opponent. AEM developed a single 8-to-1 exhaust extractor to preserve that good old V8 rumble and scream.
Sending power to the rear wheels is a GSR 4-speed gearbox. Drifting rarely needs to go above 4th gear depending on the ratios selected, with such a high amount of torque and a low final drive to exploit it. The gearbox has an internal oil pump to keep it well lubricated under high-stress conditions. It’s not a sequential as you’d expect, although with an H-pattern 4-speeder it’s hard to mis-shift. No DSG failures here.
But perhaps Foust has gone a little too far in terms of styling. The car definitely shares the overall shape and front end as a regular Passat, but it is incredibly distanced by the aggressive Rockstar livery and the large wing across the rear. It may have been a little more interesting to see a Passat closer to standard styling being pushed up against the likes of Aasbo and Forsberg, but looks are subjective.
Last year saw the development and introduction of Foust’s Global Rally Cross car, which was based on the current generation Volkswagen Beetle platform. It’s safe to say that Foust is starting to shed his ties with long-time partner Hyundai, and is soldiering on with the support of Volkswagen. Check out the video below to see some footage of the Passat in motion.