Fun Engine Swap: A Volkswagen Bug with a Subaru WRX STI Engine

BY Scott C. Benjamin / POSTED August 27, 2009
Hammerbrook - City can this really be true?
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(Courtesy of Caradisiac)

A little less than a month ago, I received an e-mail from David, a High Speed Stuff podcast listener in Germany. David wanted to know if we could do a podcast focused on modifications — specifically engine swaps. He mentioned a few different engine exchange kits he had heard of, including one for the Smartuki — a smart fortwo with a Suzuki GSXR1000 engine stuffed into it — and then he mentioned one that that I hadn’t heard of before…

Apparently, you can fit a Subaru WRX STI engine into a Volkswagen Beetle. David mentioned to me that at one time he had considered the idea of this very same swap for his own 1958 VW Beetle. I told him it sounded like a lot of fun…and I might have even bemoaned the fact that I personally don’t know how to weld (I found out that David can, by the way). And then, just yesterday, I stumbled across this blog post on Autoblog. It’s exactly what we were talking about just a few weeks ago!

So, here’s photographic (and video) proof that the VW Subaru WRX STI engine swap can be done! The dyno charts in the first video show 356-horsepower and 400 ft-lbs of torque at the rear wheels. And those burnouts in the second video are enough to sell me on the idea! I can’t speak for how the car behaves in the corners (after all, we don’t get to see any high-speed turns) but I can see that the car must be a real hoot to drive in a straight line. It looks (and sounds) ridiculously fast — but then again, that’s the entire point of an engine swap like this, isn’t it?

More related stuff:
How Horsepower Works
How Force, Power, Torque and Energy Work
HowStuffWorks Videos – “Twist the Throttle: The Suzuki GSXR ‘Gixxer’ 1000″
New Volkswagen Prices & Reviews
New Subaru Prices & Reviews

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