*I first drove the MTM Audi TT Bimoto back in the spring of 2002, when it was painted bright yellow and its bodywork looked a lot more standard than it does today. Back then, it had a mere 652 hp, but its 215-mph top speed was enough to leave the then-new Lamborghini Murcilago in its dust.
Unlike the Lambo, the Bimoto's power comes from eight cylinders rather than 12. And they're spread across two engine bays. This is the world's first twin-engine Audi TT, created by MTM's Roland Mayer in the village of Wettstetten, just 10 miles from Audi's Ingolstadt HQ.
Since then, the Bimoto has evolved, becoming faster along the way. Mayer's objective from day one was to crack the 350-kph (217 mph) barrier in a road-legal car. When the Bimoto achieved 371 kph (231.9 mph) at the highspeed Nardo track later that year, he raised his sights to 400 kph-around 248 mph.
The following year, the Bimoto returned to Nardo with a few tweaks and managed 374 kph (233.8 mph). After that, the project went on the back burner as Mayer concentrated on additional buildings and technical facilities to take his rapidly expanding company to the next level.
In September 2006, the Bimoto was wheeled out again with some new parts and 430 hp from each motor, achieving 384 kph (240 mph) at Papenburg, the highspeed proving ground in northern Germany.
The boat-tailed TT is not exactly known for its inherent high-speed stability and, at these speeds, positive downforce was more than just desirable, it was a matter of safety. The Bimoto has a front splitter, a flat carbon fiber undertray, rear spoiler and rear underbody diffuser. Now, however, a critical point had been passed where directional stability was a big issue, so the next step was to fit a large vertical fin to the rear. This makes the car look like a mutant cross between the TT, a Le Mans Jaguar D-Type and a jet fighter. You could liken its aerodynamic evolution to the time when pioneering airmen ran into the compressibility phenomenon.
In the meantime, the engines also reached their peak point. Surprisingly, capacity has stayed at the stock 1.8 liters-Mayer says this is for reliability. Each has received uprated lightweight pistons, polished and balanced connecting rods and high-lift cams. The heads are gas-flowed and hold specially ground camshafts with solid lifters and strengthened components that can run safely to 8800 rpm.
Bigger KKK turbos, built to MTM's spec, sit on new exhaust manifolds. Downstream of each turbo, massive intercoolers drop intake temperature significantly, allowing high boost to be maintained with safety under the stress of a top-speed run. Low backpressure is encouraged by a stainless steel free-flow exhaust system with semi-race catalytic converters. Each engine gets one exhaust pipe and the center pipe is for the wastegates.
One of MTM's specialties is engine management. The perfect amount of fuel from the larger injectors and spark from the high-powered ignition packs allow each engine to produce 505 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque. Combining these figures makes 1010 hp with 764 lb-ft. That's Veyron power in a car weighing 1100 pounds less.