Homebrew Toyota-Audi Mid-Engine V8 Hybrid Build Is 100% Canadian Crazy

FRSCHOP_zps38458a78 This has to be one of the coolest project builds I have ever seen in the history of all weirdo forum nut-job project car builds. This has got to be an exercise in masochism on an entirely new level. Some kid in the cold harsh north of Canada is putting together this complete custom build Audi 4.2 liter V8 powered MR2-ish custom car project, and it has been in process for over a year. As this weird Toyota bodied Audi R8 facsimile nears some form of completion, I’ll certainly be watching with a level of interest that I had not previously thought possible. Projects like this rarely turn out to be nicely done, but with some luck and a whole  lot of perseverance, I think this one just might. IMG_20111009_165640 Sometimes I think the harsh weather in northern climes has an affect on the brains of unsuspecting otherwise-normal car folk, as it is always these regions that seem to produce the most prodigiously awkward yet supremely cool project car builds. Think about it for a minute, and you’ll realize it’s true.  Remember that supercharged Mercedes V12 powered Cobra replica, yeah, it was from Sweden. What about a 850 horsepower 2JZ BMW 5-series from Norway? That’s not even to mention some of the crazy stuff that has floated through Antti’s garage. It’s always the cold places where long winters are best spent by the glow of a warm seam weld in the garage. Maybe the most over the top cars are built in places like this because summer is so short that you have to pack as much enjoyment into every drive as possible. IMG_20120728_195733 A member of the Canadian forum for “old-school Toyota enthusiasts”, Dorikaze.net, started his project with little more than a dream for his already modified MR2. His old SW20 MR2 was already powered by a 3VZ-fe 3.0 liter V6 (found in early nineties Camry and ES300 with about 185 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque) before the project started, but that was not enough for him. Chuck that old Camry engine in the river, because it’s a boat anchor compared to Audi’s 4.2 liter’s 295 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Plucked unceremoniously from an Audi A6 sedan, this engine will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission from an Audi Diesel front-driver (no Quattro). Being longitudinal, the pairing is a bit longer than Toyota’s transverse setup as originally specified for the MR2. This little detail would require the MR to have its wheelbase lengthened fairly significantly, and the firewall has been inched forward slightly as well. IMG_20130310_161628_zps1447e240 With some measuring, cutting, welding, and serious fabrication work, the rear was completely reworked to allow the front subframe of the Audi to bolt into the back of the MR2 providing the 4.2 a place to rest. A bunch of weird fabrication had to be done to get the thing to work properly, including a grafting of the front half of the Toyota shifter mechanism to the rear half (what used to be the front half?) of the Audi shifter cables, for example. Custom fuel lines, weird wiring details, chassis bracing, and a number of body details had to be worked out in order to get things to work in a copacetic fashion. IMG_20140112_162138_zps2ff74c73 So you’ve lengthened the chassis of an SW20 MR2 by about 8 inches, now what are you going to do to the bodywork to make it look like a car that hasn’t been completely hacked apart and then kludged back together again? In the case of this wicked little project, the answer is a whole lot of custom body panels mixed with some modified factory panels from newer Toyotas to make something that doesn’t quite look like an MR2 anymore, but perhaps still like something that Toyota themselves could have dreamed up. The plan is coming together, and involves using the MR2 panels only for the roof and doors. The hood is completely custom, involving a radiator duct through the center. The front and rear of the car will involve grafting on Scion FR-S front and rear bumpers, quarter panels, and fenders. The custom grafted in headlights have been sourced from a Seventh gen Toyota Celica (unfortunately meaning that he can’t “headlights go up, headlights go down, headlights go up, headlights go down” anymore) to give the front a very aggressive modern look. Braking is handled by some massive off-the-shelf rotors mated to Lexus LS400 front calipers and Passat 4-motion rear calipers. IMG_20140114_134604_zpse84dcec9 Sure, the kid has some boogery welds in there every now and again, and his penchant for big, heavy, stuntaz, swag-tastic wheels leave me cringing (in the “concept art”), but I have to admire his ability to maintain his interest in the project. I really hope that this car is everything he’s ever wanted in a car when he’s done, because I can’t imagine putting all of that effort, money, and time into a car, and hating the outcome. It certainly looks like he has learned a lot in the process of building, though, and likely his ability to think outside the box will continue to be a boon to him in all future endeavors. I really hope this is seen through to fruition, because I’d like to think that one day I might just get to see it run. photo41_zps088f7fe7 “WidebodyStarlet” has been chronicling his build here on the Dori-Kaze forum. Follow along and goad him into letting me drive the finished product… If this gets finished this year, and it works, I’m totally nominating it for HCOTY. Photos have all been sourced from Mr. Starlet’s build thread.

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