Forum Friday: Mid-Engine, VR6, RWD S1 ‘Rocco

Have we got a great member’s car for Scirocco Week! Let’s say you want a small, lightweight coupe to terrorize the track with. And let’s say a standard engine swap just won’t suffice when you start craving better performance. You could go out and buy a car, or you can get creative. VWvortex member BennyB did just that: he has built a mid-engine, VR6, rear-wheel-drive Scirocco. Insane.

I had the pleasure of talking with Ben at this year’s Cincy 20; a gathering of Sciroccos in Southern Ohio. And of course, I got a first-hand tour of the car. It’s beyond impressive.

Perhaps you’ve seen cars where the builder cut, welded, and shoehorned a too-big engine into a car resulting in an engine bay straight out of Mad Max. Benny’s car, however, is not some hacked-together beast destined for guzzoline runs on Fury Road.

You see, Ben studied vehicle dynamics in university (he’s originally from Canada), so he used the computers and equipment available to him, and he engineered this mid-engine monster. In university, he joined the school’s Formula race car team, where he was team captain and built three cars. After blowing a 16-valve on the track in another car, he started dreaming of Volkswagen’s VR6. “I was in love with that engine,” he told me, but he couldn’t justify putting it into the front of the car.

“That engine doesn’t belong in the front: all the weight sits forward of the rear axle.” So he cut a huge section out of the rear floor and went to work grafting the new heart into the car. The easy way would have been to create new mounts, and weld in the towers and MacPherson struts, and call it a day. But Ben had bigger plans. He wanted the entire engine to fit below the interior trim that surrounds the side windows. So he engineered the mounts and even fabbed in a double wishbone suspension. This has to be a terror on the track.

There’s a lot more Ben shared with me. His ‘Rocco sports front wheels from a Porsche 930 (rears wouldn’t fit). He custom built rear panels out of aluminum so that the car has a proper firewall. And those panels are structural as well: they help to keep the body straight.

I’ve included some pics from Cincy, and you can see more, and read about how he built this insane green monster in his thread in our forums.