Hiding in plain sight – The V8 Stealth Beetle

South African Mechanical Engineering company 3L Engineering and Design PTY (LTD) is in the final stages of development of something pretty special.

The creation of a High-Performance V8 sports car, designed and built from the ground up, using a high-grade aluminium chassis and then mating it with an original 50-year-old VW Beetle body. A project they call V8Stealthbeetle.


Their aim is to hand-build a vehicle to exacting standards, that once complete will be replicated as a short production run of 100 vehicles and sold worldwide.


Why “stealth”? well, that’s pretty simple – The whole idea is to create a car that looks like a regular Beetle (same wheelbase, track dimensions etc) but has “Supercar” like performance. No bulges, fins, or flames here – and of course, the engine is still in the back.

This fusion of classic, iconic German design and modern automotive engineering skill is the passionate brainchild of South African mechanical engineer and master sculpture, Jean Fourie, who has been building supercars (CAV GT40) for over 15 years but he cut his teeth working on, yes you guessed it, VW Beetles. Jean started the build with a flat plywood jig table which formed a clean canvas for datum points.


This jig allowed Jean to work backwards from the positions of the wheels (predetermined by the original Beetle) to the drive train, engine and suspension. From there he has basically designed and built a high-performance sports car that will be mated with a prepared and restored VW beetle body.


A 1965 donor Beetle was sourced and disassembled. Everything except the bodywork was discarded and what was left was trimmed to fit the new chassis and slightly larger engine bay. The first body has been finished in Gulf Oil colours and took 150 hours to complete. Everything is original except the slightly wider rear fenders.

The car sits on OEM suspension with modified shocks. An Audi 4.2 bi-turbo engine, controlled by a Haltech EMS, 6-speed box and thanks to the much larger engine, a complete water cooling system. You’ll find no cup holders, cruise control, anti-lock brakes or driver aids here. The finished vehicle will weigh in around 900kgs and produce 450hp
.

The team at V8StealthBeetle thinks the world doesn’t need more car designers – we need more cars developed by passionate, highly skilled individual’s intent on making a statement, turning a functional item of transport into a work of art, like the V8stealthbeetle – a hand-built precision high-performance sports car, developed with the creativity and skill of a sculptor. Designed and engineered using modern techniques and cutting-edge technologies. Assembled and finished with the attention to detail and flair of Master Chef.

We can’t wait to see the first V8Stealthbeetle hit the road very soon.  Check out more videos are at www.v8stealthbeetle.com