Horsepower to weight ratio is what can help make any race car go from mildly fast to over-the-top. Racers will do just about anything to cut weight out of their hot rod to get the most out of their combo. The best way to get a head start on the weight cut is to use an ultralight car from the beginning, and the guys at JLR Racing started with about as light as you can go with a stock vehicle….a Volkswagen Bug.
The tiny terror known as “Backdraft” weighs a minuscule 1,600 pounds with the driver belted in. Powering the bug is a “Jersey” Joe Koenig-built 2165cc flat tappet VW engine topped off with a Holley four barrel carb that gets boost from just a single turbocharger. Currently the combo is making a stout 550 horsepower on just 21 pounds of boost with room to go all the way to 34 pounds.
The team estimates there’s still at least another 100 untapped horses on the table since the motor hasn’t been turned all the way up yet. When the Backdraft gets set on kill it could easily be an mid 8-second car with all the power it can pull from. In this video from BigKleib34 you can see just how much of a handful this big power, short wheelbase rocket really is. The bug puts the wheelie bars to very good use on a very adventurous 9.64 pass at over 150 mph. Would you be brave enough to belt into this pocket rocket and pilot it to a sub nine second run?