One of my favorite things about the Speedhunters universe is the vast diversity of content that gets presented on this site. In fact, I still check out Speedhunters every day just to see what kind of cool stuff my colleagues are getting up to. The great thing about having such a wide range of cars to go after, aside from expanding my own automotive pallet, is that it provides almost unlimited opportunities for Speedhunting; anytime, anywhere. The car car you see before you now is just one such example of a build so extreme that when I happened upon it, I had no choice but to share it with you guys.
Back in January I spent the better portion of the month in Stockholm at the Speedhunters main office, discussing – among other things – ways to further improve the Speedhunters experience. Whilst in Sweden, I made sure to meet up with some locals like our friend Arslan from Club JDM. After talking with him on the phone he had informed me that he had just seen an unbelievable Audi Quattro inside of a small trade show that I had to come check out.
The next day he came by to pick me up and we made our way to the convention center to see the car. When I first laid eyes on it I couldn’t help but be reminded of the home-brewed insanity that I had seen at Gatebil Rudskogen last summer. After a walk around this beast I couldn’t help but imagine seeing it in action, something I hope to do in the future. Although I had yet to even hear it fire up, I could spot all the tell-tale signs of a Swedish monster…
Under the hood was an engine that the Scandinavians seem to know better than anyone else – Audi’s unique and seemingly ultra-boostable 5-cylinder. Attached to it were all sorts of massively improved go-faster bits. Had I never witnessed cars like this in action, I’d think this were a show car, but I know better than that.
The interior was also a masterpiece in and of itself, and probably my favorite aspect of the build. It was clear that this was one of the areas where a lot of time was spent to ensure things went properly. Clearly I was very intrigued by the car and I needed to know more about it, but there was a familiar enemy standing between me and the details; the language barrier.
Fortunately enough, while I was quite literally freezing my ass off (possibly to death had the shoot run much longer), Arslan was able to chat with the owner and get the full story. So how does someone come about building such an insane machine? Well, here goes nothing…
Börje Hanssen is the owner of the car, and has been involved in competition racing and rallying for over forty years, so he had a little prior experience to say the least. Like many Swedes, he’s always been a fan of the Ur-Quattro (first gen Audi Quattro) but really fell in love with the chassis when he saw them competing in the Swedish Rally series, and instantly began dreaming of building one for on-road duties.
A few years later he would compete in one of the Nürburgring’s famous four-hour VLN endurance races and knew then and there that he had to build a Quattro to one day race in the series. He was completely blown away by the track, as most drivers are, and made a promise to himself that he would one day return with a machine of his own design to tackle the Nordschleife. Alas, the motivation was found and plans were laid.
Börje knew that he would have to build a car that was better balanced than the front-heavy example Audi would sell you to be competitive, but the problem was there weren’t many people even attempting to do that. With a little research he was eventually able to find one Quattro built in Germany for asphalt racing, only to later discover that it was simply a show car and didn’t have any practical R&D put into it.
With little choice, it was up to Börje to start down his own path to build the ultimate Ur-Quattro. The first thing he did wasn’t run to turn a wrench, but actually turn pages as he studied as much as he could about suspension geometry. If he wanted to make the car handle better, he’d need to brush up on his understanding of physics. In the end he decided to team up with John-Erik Andersson, a very famous name in the Swedish racing industry.
During the ’90s, John-Erik was responsible for building all of the factory Volvo BTCC cars, so he happened to already know a thing or two about tweaking the underpinnings of a competition car. The two would end up devising an extremely complicated solution to the problem and re-engineered virtually every suspension link on the car and moved almost every single pickup point as well.
With the footwork all sorted out, the team started looking at ways to move some of the weight away from the front axle. Taking a cue straight from Audi’s own Pikes Peak effort, they decided to move the radiator and dry-sump oil tank to rear of the car. They also removed or converted certain items to remove any weight possible, like switching to an electric power steering setup.
Considering so much effort was put into the chassis, it should come as no surprise that the engine setup is also totally bonkers. I had never really been a huge fan of Audis until going to Gatebil, and configurations like this are exactly the reason why – they aren’t always the most expensive on the planet, but they often put down more power than engines that cost several times as much.
The motor itself is something I encountered many times at Gatebil and utilizes a 20-valve gasoline cylinder head mated to a stronger diesel block. The center piece of the build is a massive Garrett GTX35 turbo which shoves boost down the incredibly sick TIBUC throttle bodies and into the petrol/diesel frankenstein engine; good for 487hp and 407lb-ft of torque.
In order to clear the massive exhaust system hanging off the engine, a custom tunnel had to be notched into the interior. As you can see from the photo, this isn’t your typical half-assed piece of scrap metal that has been thrown into a car. Each section has been custom formed and sealed to the chassis – if you didn’t know any better you’d almost think this was OE metal.
Originally the idea was to have a motor that was powerful but not overly brutal. Ironically, even though the engine puts down very nearly 500hp, Börje says he thinks he still needs another 100-150hp in order to really be competitive. Thus, the work is never truly done.
Although he talked little about it, I think that the interior is by far and away my favorite part of the build, and one area that really stands out compared to many of the cars I’ve seen from Scandinavia.
The driver’s seat has been thrown back to fall behind the B-pillar, just like you’d expect of any serious competition car. It’s also mounted on a rigid fixed bracket as mandated by FIA rules, which typically causes a bit of a problem if you want the ability to allow multiple drivers to pilot the car.
To find a solution to this problem, Börje once again enlisted the help of the guys at TIBUC and devised an ingenious contraption. The floor-mounted pedal set has been placed atop a sled that rides on rails and can be precisely adjusted to the driver’s liking.
As cool as that may be, my favorite part is probably the fighter-jet style carbon dashboard. Stuffed with a range of gauges from Defi, this driver-centric piece is a really simple and elegant way to get information to the driver and comes off looking refined rather than lazy.
How cool is that?
To top it all off, there’s even a cooling fan built into the lid to prevent any of the electronics from overheating!
Last year Börje was able to take the car to the ‘ring for an initial shake-down test, but encountered overheating problems after half a lap. If there’s anything I’ve learned from talking to Swedes, perhaps the only thing they don’t do well is give up. I’m sure that come spring time, this car will return to the Nordschleife and start clocking some very fast laps – who knows, we might even run into it!
1981 Audi Quattro
Turbocharged Audi 2.5-liter inline-5 cylinder engine; diesel ACV block; rigid engine and trans mounts; balanced internals; Stone Pamer connecting rods; RS2 pistons; ABY 20-valve petrol cylinder head; port and polish; Catcams camshafts with adjustable gears; Garrett GTX35 ball-bearing turbo; GIK Turbo Technology dump valve and wastegate; Jorgen Source split-pulse turbo manifold; TIBUC throttle bodies, fuel rail; custom 600x400x40mm intercooler and piping, custom 3″exhaust system; Finnkat catalyst; VAG ignition coils; Verdi 4-channel dry sump oil pump; Aviad U.S. oil modified for greater volume; Sellholm oil cooler kit with PWR Australia exchanger; Sellholm PWR rear-mounted radiator with custom expansion tank and triple fans
ENGINE MANAGEMENT / ELECTRONICS
Nira ECU mapped by Per Johansson; Bosch EGT sensor and broadband lambda; Peltor Lite Com and IC-F210 radios; Tran X260 transponder; VBox; Optima battery; Porsche main switch
Audi six-speed manual transmission with PAR Engineering dogtooth gears; transmission cooler; Benny Axelsson custom shift lever; 034 Motorsport steel flywheel; Sachs clutch; Quaife front LSD; factory center diff; Audi 4.111 final drive from S2; rigid rear diff mount; GKN racing axles and internal drive hubs
SUSPENSION / CHASSIS
CBT roll cage; fully redesigned suspension with completely modified chassis geometry including Ackerman angles; camber adjustable from three different points; toe adjusted centrally on each tie rod; lowered to 9.5cm clearance by custom spindles with 9cm lower attachment point for smaller arms; Ohlins suspension with 3-way adjustable shock absorbers with custom rates by KH Motorsports; upper mounting points have been moved; aluminum control arms from older Audi DTM car; custom braces; rear DTM components from Audi; Mo-Thu port by Anders Carlsson in Borås; Gunnarsson Motorsports blade-type sway bars; Audi 200 steering rack with electric power steering pump
Porsche GT2 six-piston calipers and 365mm discs (f), four-piston calipers with 355mm discs ®; custom brake ducts; custom pedals built by TIBUC and-mounted on adjustable sleigh with gas piston.
WHEELS / TIRES
9.5×17 “+22 OZ Racing; 240×610-17 Yokohama racing slicks
Recaro Pro Racer Hans SP-G fixed seat; adjustable steering column and pedals; Reverie Rally 330 carbon fiber steering wheel; upholstered dashboard with built-in fan; Defi-meters; Demon tweeks power switches; Schroth harness; OMP fire system
Custom exhaust tunnel sectioned into floorboard complete with brackets for the six-speed box and support pieces; modified firewall, front grille and rear screens; carbon fiber hood and side skirts; custom adjustable carbon fiber rear wing; Kristoffersson Motorsport fiberglass doors with quick release hinges; roof scoop; genuine Audi fiberglass trunk with Lexan window and air intake; Audi Ibis White; decals by Advertising Service Henån
John-Erik Andersson, Racing Consultant Sell Holm, Källmans, TIBUC, Åberg Naval Service, Herman’s Marine Service in Henan, Lars Svantesson Ljungskile, Anders Carlsson, Per Johansson, KH Motorsports, Kristoffersson Motorsport, Composite Design, Advertising Service Henån, Inger and firefighters at Mantorp Park – without them I wouldn’t have a car today!
Amazing Audi and I must agree with Amaury_Reno!
But Sean, you probably were shivering .... of the cold .... and the trill of the, and I quote: "well I have a camera and a few minutes and this car is badass... might as well shoot it" -sean- car itself. Badass ride!
Gerben aka Suburuuh Yes I think my feet were completely numb, I was wearing Vans and it was well below freezing lol.
Nice write up, although, as in all speedhunter's review and spotlights, i would like to request that you show the car in all directions possible (with owner's permission of course), in this case, tedious work has been done on the suspension and i sincerely think that itself deserves a picture or detailed explanation as well, im sure not all readers look to this website just for engine bling factor, most of us do care alot bout the technical side as well ! Its not a everyday thing that we see something so specialized and custom as this, so to be able to cover the parts other than the usual engine bay shots and interior shots would be a nice addition to speedhunter's work quality. That being said thanks for being in the cold for us !
I totally agree... If I had more than thirty minutes and if the car had more than four inches of ground clearance and the ground wasn't covered in 2 inches of dirty slushy snow, I would have gladly shot underneath the car. It was one of those "well I have a camera and a few minutes and this car is badass... might as well shoot it" sort of scenarios. It wasn't planned out at all.
sean klingelhoefer understandable sean ~ cheers for hearing us out and keep the good work flowing bro !
How is this car gonna be eligible for VLN? And what's with the hydraulic handbrake in a race car?
Aust55 I have no idea, but considering that there are like 20 categories, I'm sure it'll qualify for something lol. And while it might seem absurd, if you've ever driven a car with a hydraulic handbrake I think you'd find it can actually be useful in low-speed corners, particularly with cars that are prone to understeer (like this car). I've actually considered putting one in my Civic.
nice car, but in what series does he want to run it on the Ring? don't see any licence plates, and with that side pipe it won't be allowed on Tourist days either
Now this is speed hunting!!! With the exception of very recently, most Audi's are nose heavy for obvious reasons. As a longtime A4 owner myself, it's nothing a stiffer rear anti-sway bar can't fix.
On a side note, I'm sure the car handles fairly well, but I can't stop thinking about weight distribution and how far the engine block sits on the nose! There's literally not much weight behind the front shock towers. Any idea, comments?
JDMized Very cool car, love Quattros. Clearly a very well thought-out and comprehensive build, nothing much missed. Though, at the same time I kind of agree with JDMized. Audis are pretty notorious for having their engines sat extremely far forward. Given how much the rest of the car has been changed (relocated suspension pickup points etc), I'm a little surprised the engine wasn't moved further back through the firewall or something. Weight distribution has a HUGE effect on handling.
Hotcakes JDMized I think that had the car been RWD, they surely would have moved the engine back, but since there are axles and a differential that cannot be relocated it makes things a little difficult. The GT-R has the same problem, although the engine isn't as visually far forward. I have no idea how much of the mass of the engine and trans is in front of the axle, but I would imagine that this car probably handles pretty damn well. I've seen other Audis at Gatebil doing incredible things, so I wouldn't be surprised to see this car turn some pretty stellar lap times.
sean klingelhoefer Hotcakes JDMized I look at it this way: if they handle well enough to hand every other engine geometry its ass in rallying/ every other motorsport thus far(Google Audi 200 Trans Am/ Audi 90 IMSA/ Audi S4 World Challenge GT)...ain't nothing wrong with the layout. Learn to drive one fast. The off-beat harmony of that 5th extra chorus member is worth buying even an N/A Audi 5cyl. Best engine sound below six cylinders by faaaaaaaar.
sean klingelhoefer Hotcakes Good point. Having to deal with the front axle and its geometry (if changed), it's not something easy to modify (without incurring in geometry issues).
I don't know, like you guys mention. Audi, more specifically this Quattro, I'm sure it handles well, but seeing that engine sitting there I start to wonder: "what if the engine would sit against the fire wall" (decreasing the polar inertia :))))
JDMized sean klingelhoefer Hotcakes This is just a very bad layout to start with, and even back in a rally days Audi Sport noticed the disadvantage of having huge polar moment of inertia combined with front biased weight distribution. They tried to overcome this by relocating mass (cooling etc.) behind the rear axle to obtain a better weight distribution, but the original problem of too much polar moment of inertia only further increased. Those machines were even harder to get into yaw and required very different driving style, left-foot-braking.
It was only due the 4WD-system, which is very effective on a loose surfaces like gravel and snow, they were victorious over the RWD competition. And when the others, such as Peugeot and Lancia, caught up with their own 4wd technologies, even the Audi's massive downforce body of S1 didn't help it.
I would suspect this to be hard on tyres if you need to counter the grater moment of inertia with latteral forces from tyres to obtain yaw.
TeroK sean klingelhoefer Hotcakes TeroK, thanks for your insight. I suspected that polar inertia was (and still is) a HUGE deal for a rally car, and this car is no different.
Being able to be navigated at 100+mph in tight woods and flicked left and right (the new MINI is totally the opposite in that sense), I see this car struggle in this department.
I would guess as you mention, this Quattro might chew up tires like no tomorrow!
DavidPratte Making due with what I've got, it's the Speedhunters creed haha. Sometimes the light looks a lot more cool if you don't strobe it anyway ;)
Over forty years experience huh. Well it shows because this is a cold build. Great car and attention to detail is outstanding. I just gotta ask. How old is this dude? Reminds me of the crazy Lotus elise feature you guys did a while back. The compound charged one with like 700 hp.
hanablemoore I'm not sure the owners age, but I'd guess from looking at him that he is in his sixties - and still tracking and building! Totally inspiring build on all accounts.
FunctionFirst Only it wasn't hot, it was freezing lol. I think it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit when I shot this lol.
petewagen Ha, that's too funny I didn't even know Paddy had already spotted the car!