The tall gearing (allowing the theoretical 248 mph top speed) comes from a VW Golf diesel's top gear ratios. At the beginning of development, these chosen ratios allowed a theoretical 237 mph at 7000 rpm in sixth gear. This was why the motors were modified to run to past 7400 rpm. Two six-speed gearboxes are linked mechanically, but state-of-the-art electronics take care of engine synchronization. Mayer is the first to admit that without drive-by-wire throttles, this would be physically impossible.

With all-wheel drive, traction off the line is excellent and the car grabs the tarmac and rockets to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds, 124 mph in 8.9 and 186 mph in 19.8, even with the tall final drives. These figures were taken in July 2007 at Papenburg, where the Bimoto was clocked at 245 mph. In the topspeed pecking order, that makes it officially faster than the Ferrari Enzo, Porsche Carrera GT and McLaren F1, but slower than the Koenigsegg CCX, Bugatti Veyron and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT.

The Bimoto requires a two-wheeldrive gearbox with each engine rather than one all-wheel-drive unit. An electronic differential controls power distribution between the front and rear axles, and each end has its own limited-slip differential. The front unit has a 25-percent lock-up, with 50 percent at the rear.

Wheels are MTM's forged 19-inchers-strong, light and sized to do the job without imposing too much drag. Tires are ContiSportContact Vmax, the only production road tire rated to 223 mph.

Unlike a race track, high-speed tracks like Nardo or Papenburg have no corners and so do not require a car to slow down quickly. So 14-inch front and 12.7-inch rear rotors with four-pot calipers are adequate and keep unsprung weight down. However, if a customer wants a road car with extreme stopping power, then MTM can fit 15-inch discs with eight-pot calipers at each corner.

Open the engine bay and it's obvious where the hundreds of man-hours were spent. The tubular steel cage around the hatch opening stands out, as does the 22-gallon fuel tank nestled between the cabin and engine bay. With the loss of the rear floorpan, structural strength was regained with a 1.6-inch-diameter tubular steel rear frame that follows the inner hatchback profile. A perimeter frame made from square-shaped steel (its metal being 3mm thick) reinforces the sills and front and rear bulkheads, with the front bar crossing under the dashboard.

The transmission tunnel is also strengthened with two square-section bars joining the front and rear bulkheads. The rear engine/gearbox and subframe are production TT spec with the steering system removed. The suspension's lower arm bushes (that create passive toe effect on a standard TT) are replaced with solid items to prevent undesirable rear-steering in this application.

Up front, MacPherson struts have been replaced by race-style coilovers using external reservoirs, with adjustable height as well as bounce and rebound control. Ride height has been set up at 30mm and 25mm lower than stock, front and rear respectively.

By Lan Kuah
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