This Volkswagen Rabbit has a 6.0-Liter LS V8

This hare should have no problem beating the tortoise.

byEric Brandt| UPDATED Nov 14, 2017 4:02 PM
This Volkswagen Rabbit has a 6.0-Liter LS V8

The original Volkswagen Rabbit (known by most of the rest of the world as the Golf MK1) is beloved for being a humble subcompact hatch. It’s one of the cars that popularized front-wheel drive in passenger cars and it provided reliable, affordable transportation for people all over the world.

This 1984 Rabbit owned by 23-year-old Connor Hofford, however, is in many ways the opposite of the original. While it looks an awful lot like a regular old Rabbit on the outside, that’s about where the similarities end. Rather than one of the diminutive four-cylinder gas or diesel engines that originally came with the car, this three-door hatch has a 6.0-liter LS V8 with an LS3 top end under the hood lashed to a Muncie four-speed manual transmission turning a Ford nine-inch rear end. The owner estimates it makes between 500 and 600 horsepower.

“Basically, the only thing that’s original Volkswagen is the body itself,” says Hofford in the video below. This LS Rabbit has a fully custom chassis and a heavily modified interior. The interior has a clean design with no visible gauges or steering wheel stalks. Rather than traditional analog gauges, it has a Racepak iq3 digital display mounted on the roll cage above the driver so you have to look up to see your gauges. In lieu of regular turn signals, it has left and right buttons located on the tranny tunnel and “inertia-triggered turn signal cancellers” under the dash. It makes for a very clean look with a little bit of tasteful use of plaid thrown in as a nod to its Volkswagen heritage.

The LS-swapped Rabbit placed in the top 10 in the Young Guns division of Battle of the Builders and top 40 overall at SEMA which is well-deserved. Hofford’s achievement of building a hot rod Rabbit while retaining the original look is impressive and commendable. Now we just want to see it do a burnout.