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Golf twin-engine

Broadcast dates : 14th Nov 2004
18th Nov 2004

Thereís a quite-simple explanation for Cape Town tuning expert Robbie Ferroli deciding that two engines in a Citi Golf was just the perk-up he needed in life.

A long-time track racer at Killarney and on the club gymkhana scene, Robbie was tired of breaking gearboxes in his quest for more power out of a standard, single-engined, front-wheel drive format.

The way Robbie explains things, every time he managed to extract in the region of three-hundred-and-fifty kiloWatts from one of his Golf specials, the gearboxes couldnít take the pain of three times the amount of power they were designed to handle.

The twin-engined project seemed like just the ticket. Keep power "down" to about three-hundred kilowatts per engine and he would have more than enough power to run the sort of times on the quarter mile that had eluded him in single-engined Golfs.

The starter-pack for the project was a one-point-six Citi Golf body shell, which was stripped before all the components were put into this mind-blowing street-racer. It took Robbie Ferroli just three months to complete this amazing project car.

Robbie says he never sat down and drew any plans for the project, but rather took things step by step.

The car uses two sixteen-valve Golf engines, a two-litre engine in the front, and a one-comma-eight litre unit in the rear.

But, as they say in the 0 8 hundred ads, thatís not all. Both engines were turbocharged and each received its own nitrous oxide installation.

The rear engine is located where the boot would be, and according to Robbie, mounting the extra engine-package was not as difficult as some would imagine.

He started by cutting out a section of the floor and welding in a complete front engine installation from a Jumbo Golf sixteen-valve model.

To make sure the rear wheels stayed pointing in the straight-ahead position, Robbie locked off the steering rack using two machined plugs.

In this way Robbie avoided having to make up countless suspension components. And it has the advantage of providing easily adjustable toe-in on the rear wheels.

Both the front and rear gearboxes are cabled-linked to the gearlever. He says it was quite easy to ensure that both gearboxes select the right gears simultaneously.

Each engine has its own separate starter and ignition management system, as well as its own cooling and intercooling system for the turbochargers.

Everything is doubled up. There are two gauges for revs, oil pressure and water temperature, as well as turbo-boost on each engineís turbocharger.

Robbie says his main problem was to squeeze all the radiators and intercoolers into the available space in the Golf without changing the exterior too much.

Apart from the wild colour scheme and roof-mounted rear wing, he wanted things to look as stock as possible.

The layout in the rear of the car is a work of art. Some would call it a plumberís nightmare, but everything is installed with great pride of workmanship.

Items like fuel tanks and oil catchment tanks were all purpose-made for the project in aluminum.

The car runs fairly modest street legal tyres on TSW rims, as Robbie did not want to turn the car into a quasi drag racer. He receives sponsorship from Yokohama for the tyres and the way it burns rubber, that is probably a good thing!

Now when was the last time you saw a Golf spinning its rear wheels like this?

Being effectively a four-wheel drive car, itís a natural understeerer. The push from the rear wheels and the drive forces on the front mean that traction on the front wheels will let go initially in a corner.

The technique to get it around corners quickly is to "pitch" the car into a corner with the accelerator released, and then as the rear end starts to swing round to apply the right amount of power and hold the car in a four-wheel-drift.

Acceleration is phenomenal, with zero to one hundred coming up in under four seconds. The car has run a ten-comma-six- second quarter-mile.

Top speed is well over two-hundred-and-eighty kilometres-per-hour, with more to come.

Robbie says that synchronizing the motors as far as tuning goes is not a problem. Because they run independently of one another, the one engine merely helps the other along, so they never hold each other back.

With this Golf, nicknamed Double Trouble for obvious reasons, itís a simply a win-win situation.

Twin-engined Volkswagen Golf
  • Body-shell: Mk1 Golf 1,6
  • Engines. Two by 16-valve Golf engines, two-litre front, 1,8-litre rear. Both turbocharged and fitted with Nitrous Oxide injection
  • Power (estimated) 600 kW-plus
  • Transmission: Each engine uses modified Golf front-wheel-drive transmission in unitary construction with the engine
  • 0-100 km/h: under four seconds (estimated)
  • Top Speed: 280 km/h plus
  • Fuel consumption: 30 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R250 000 plus (estimated)

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