In today’s age, this sometimes seems inadequate. Every other week some new amazingly over-the-top hypercar is announced with more power, more speed and an even more absurd price tag than before. Cars costing 2 million, 4 million or 10 million euros are no longer an exception. And they sell fast. The other day, Pagani announced the new Utopia hypercar and despite the price tag of 2.5 million USD, a total of 99 cars have already been allocated. And it’s not just the performance or the prices, some of the concepts are insane, really! Take for example the Engler Dessot, which we’ll focus on in today’s Petrolhead Corner installment. It is, for lack of a better word, a marriage between a superbike and an Audi R8 V10. Just let it sink in; A motorbike with a V10. Wild, right?
The super-quad concept
A quad bike typically has a short wheelbase, a substantial ride height and wheels at all corners. Steering is done with a set of handlebars, similar to a motorbike, and can be used both on-road and off-road. Turning it into a super-quad definitely requires some imagination and a good dose of insanity. But you’ll be surprised to know that the basic idea of the super-quad isn’t entirely new, as there have been few vehicles along similar lines before. However, it’s very unusual for you to take an existing chassis and drivetrain and turn it into what is basically a four-wheeled bike (or quad, obviously). And it’s not just a creation cobbled together in someone’s shed, there’s proper mad-scientist engineering behind it. But before we get to that, let’s shed some light on at least two creations, at least in spirit, before Engler’s super-quad.
Dodge, Lazareth, Engler
Engler isn’t the only one playing with a four-wheeler that sits between a car and a bike. Even a mainstream manufacturer like Dodge played with it in the early 2000s, the Lazareth LM847 being a recent example. What Dodge did with the Tomahawk (below, in silver) was put the 8.3-liter V10 engine from the Dodge Viper and put it in the frame of the futuristic bike. The result is a psychologically visceral thing not seen in a sci-fi action movie. It was a concept vehicle and was never considered a production vehicle as it would have been a real headache to make it road-legal. The most important thing next to the brutal engine is the narrowly positioned front and rear wheels. With a unique tilting independent suspension geometry, the Tomahawk looked unlike anything that came before it. Top speed is theoretically 300 miles per hour, but this has never been tested. Dodge allegedly built a total of 9 fully functional Tomahawks.
The Lazareth LM847 (above, in red) is built on more or less the same principle. It also had double front and rear wheels and used a Maserati V8 engine producing 470 horsepower. In essence, it’s nothing more than a massive powerplant, a front and rear section, and basically a steering wheel on top. And to be honest, I’d be scared out of my mind to ride something like this. This isn’t the only crazy super-quad built by Lazareth, as the Wazuma V8M takes things to a more extreme level. Built around the same engine, the Wazuma V8M splits the front wheels for a trike-like configuration. With double rear wheels, it again sits somewhere between a car and the concept of a bike or trike or quad.
Engler FF Automotive, as the company was officially known, was founded by Victor Engler. Victor’s Deschamps concept, dubbed the Super-Quad by Engler, began with a ten-year-old dream of building his own vehicle. The result of his vision is the Desat you see here today, a unique looking vehicle to say the least. On the surface, it looks like a chopped road car, and you’d probably be right, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
The Desat will start life as the Audi R8 V10, a roofless convertible R8 is possible but not actually mentioned. It’s stripped down to the bare chassis and drivetrain, before being backed up with a unique carbon fiber body and superbike-like seating arrangement. You sit on top of it instead of in it and lean forward to grab the handlebars. Steering is done like a quad bike by turning the handlebars left and right. All work including the entire steering system is done in-house. So far, so good you think but when you fire up the V10 engine the real craziness starts.
The Audi R8 V10 is already a very fast car, as the current generation has 562bhp from the 5.2-litre V10 (also found in the Lamborghini Huracan). The base Engler Desat is listed at 620bhp, which is already more than I expected. But if you want, Engler boosts it to a monstrous 1,100 horsepower, just insane power in any vehicle! Especially the quad bike! Remember, you are in the open without a seat belt and without the mandatory helmet to wear (depending on where you live) as it is technically registered as a car. It’s reassuring to know that Engler has teamed up with helmet manufacturer Ruroc for a special series of helmets to accompany your Desat.
All this power is said to propel you and an optional passenger to 100kph in about 2.5 seconds, and the trooper to a top speed of 350kph. If you are brave enough and can withstand the screams from the (un)lucky devil sitting behind you. Fortunately, when you’re rocketing the Dessot in a horizontal direction, the back tilts. As it was revealed just two weeks ago during the Salon Privé Concours at Blenheim Castle in England, there’s not much we can tell you at this point. But what I can tell you is that it’s probably the ultimate money-no-object and I’ve seen all-of-it-all-for-the-absolutely-rich figures.
For more information, visit Super-Quad.com