This RWD-Swapped Volkswagen Golf with a BMW V8 Is a Sleeper Drift King
It’s always the quiet ones. Not that this is one of them.
If you’re reading this article, chances are at some point in your life you’ve been in an empty parking lot after dark, and either you or your friend has thought: Yeah, time for some driving. Probably in some crap econobox with tires shaggier than the wisps of beard anyone in your peer group at the time was trying to cultivate and horsepower not far off the ABV of Your First Beers.™️
This VW Golf is not one of those cars. Normally the Golf is an unassumingly capable thing that, even in its most boring forms, somehow evokes the spirit of those parking lot moments but with the ability to actually deliver on them. Formula One driver Carlos Sainz Jr. refused to get rid of his Golf until someone finally foisted a company car on him. There’s just something about the way they’re so straightforwardly competent, not underpowered or so expensive you feel like you have to behave yourself in one and with all the capabilities to cause mischief.
The whole joy of a Golf is that it’s a great sleeper but Engine Swap Depot has discovered the ultimate version. For every boring little gray car that can still give it the beans, Finnish team Maailmanlopun Vehket has asked: why not make it a boring little gray car with rear-wheel drive, a V8 under the hood and a suspension built for drifting?
It’s simple, kind of: just take a Golf Mk7 and rip the axles and subframe out and replace those with a pick’n’mix selection of BMW 3 and 5-series parts at the front and rear (E36 and E39 if you're curious, which I know you are). Then chuck out the engine in favor of a stock BMW M60 V8 with 282 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Finally, replace the suspension with bespoke pushrod setup with BC Racing shocks.
Those power figures might sound conservative considering a). the cylinder count and b). the eye-popping numbers usually associated with drift builds. But the old V8's grunt is more than enough to break the rear tires loose and send the 2,866-pound car into a beautiful slide—and as long as you don't peek at the stripped interior, its stock panels mean it looks at home street parked in any Helsinki suburb.
Hats off to Maailmanlopun Vehket, because this thing looks both incredibly polished and incredibly easy to control in their hands. It looks stealth, sounds amazing and you can’t tell me this wouldn’t be the perfect getaway car in a grey-washed, Nordic heist film.
h/t Road & Track
Got a tip? Send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org