Driving the Bimoto is a unique experience. Turn the ignition on and hit the chromed button that says 'Eng 1.' Then hit the 'Eng 2' button next to it to fire up the rear engine. At low speed, the Bimoto is hardly louder than a stock TT and does not attract undue attention (apart from its lurid paint scheme). Inside, however, the stripped-out interior is only shielded from the rear engine bay by a sheet of carbon fiber, so the cabin's sound level is much higher than normal. The hydraulic clutch ensures that pedal effort is hardly more than a standard TT and the gearshift action is barely heavier too.
Thanks to its engine management, the Bimoto is fairly tractable-despite huge turbos and wild cams. But fullthrottle acceleration is stupendous. Once boost arrives, thrust is strong and unrelenting. It's almost impossible to watch the twin rev counters, digital speedometer and the road at the same time. The car gathers speed so fast that watching the road is definitely the most important. Despite the side intakes that draw cooling air into the rear engine bay and the booster fans which help to vent the rear intercooler and radiator, the temperature gauge for the back motor always indicates slightly higher than the front.
Thanks to a 52/48 percent weight distribution, crosscountry handling and grip are simply amazing, and in the dry can lay down as much power as you like once the car is set up for a corner exit. If you lift off sharply while cornering on the limit, you can feel the weight in the rear trying to move the tail outward. This was very pronounced with the stock bushings in the suspension lower arms, but since the uniball joints were substituted, the tendency to oversteer has largely been eradicated.
At Nardo last October (the Autobild Sportscars/Continental High Speed Event), the Bimoto was the quickest car by far, at 390 kph. Nardo has steeper banking than Papenburg. On a flat autobahn with no wind, the Bimoto should be capable of a genuine 400 kph, a smidgen short of 250 mph.
Now the car has won the last couple of high-speed events at Nardo and come close enough to 400 kph on a banked track, Roland Mayer thinks he's proven his point. The Bimoto can be retired to its place of honor in his small private collection, which also includes a genuine Audi Quattro S1 rally car.
A family Of Twins
*The push-pull idea of having one motor at each end of a vehicle is not new and heavy-duty locomotives still use it to this day. But in road-legal cars and motorsport prototypes, its use has always raised eyebrows. While a rearwheel- drive car can be made into a four-wheel-drive with a front transfer case and extra driveshafts, the engineering required to install two engines of the original type into a reardrive car is quite daunting.
That's not the case with front-wheel-drive cars, as the engine, gearbox and driveshafts come neatly packaged and just require duplicating at the rear. The advent of front-wheel drive in mass-production cars spawned some creative engineering. Even the lowly Citron 2CV received twin powerplants in a limitedproduction factory version for use in desert conditions.
In the 1960s, John Cooper was nearly killed when his twin-engine Mini prototype desynchronized and flung itself off the road. Throughout the 1980s, Volkswagen Motorsport flirted with twinengined cars based on the Mk I Golf floorpan.