Long Beach, California - Hoonigan Media Machine presenter Hertrech Eugene Jr is right. Volkswagen’s Passat is an accomplished and comfortable family sedan, but a drift machine it is not.
It’s too long, too heavy, too slow and ferkraainahtlahd, it’s front-wheel drive.
So, when Top Gear USA presenter, four-times X Games gold medallist, three-times Global Rallycross champion, and double former Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust pitched up at a Formula Drift meeting after a five-year absence with this deceptively standard-looking (from the outside anyway) Passat, a lot of heads were shaken - not least Eugene’s.
But this is no ordinary Passat. Foust and his crew shoehorned a thundering great seven-litre Chevrolet LS7 V8 into the engine compartment, gave it a straight through eight-into-one drainpipe, huge doses of NOS, and ditched the flywheel in favour of a Tilton clutch so that it revs like a cobra striking.
The resulting 666kW (yes, this thing really is a beast) is fed through a heavy duty four-speed (four is all you need) sequential ‘dog’ box to a live rear axle, and for sheer presence it has the rice-burners completely outclassed.
Recently Foust took up an invitation from Hoonigan Media Machine to visit their Long Beach backyard and show Eugene just exactly what a properly drift-modded Passat can do. The result makes very entertaining viewing, especially when Foust invites Eugene to have a go behind the wheel.
A word of warning, however: if you’re wearing headphones, turn the sound down before you hit play - this Passat has a very robust voice.