Horrifying Slovakian "Superquad" puts an 850-horsepower V10 motor in a quad bike
There are supercars and superbikes ... Why not a superquad? Slovakia's Victor Engler couldn't think of a good reason, so he went and built this 850 horsepower V10 monster, which he says tops out at a ludicrous 350 km/h, or 217 mph.
The Engler F.F. Superquad, now on display at the Geneva Motor Show, is an aluminum/carbon beast that looks a bit like a toy supercar from the side. It is no toy. Engler's website seems to vacillate over whether it makes 800 or 850 horsepower, but either way it beats the magical "one horsepower per one kilogram" power-to-weight figure, which means it will accelerate like a buckshot rabbit.
The motor is a 5.2 liter V10, probably from the Lamborghini Huracan. That trifling thing only makes 610-odd horses in stock form, though, so it's had twin superchargers and a titanium exhaust fitted get get it up over 800. 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) is said to be dispatched in 2.5 seconds, with a top speed around 350 km/h (217 mph).
The frame is aluminum, with "carbonium" body work that's apparently a combination of carbon and titanium. Best keep weight down when you've only got 800 horses to work with, eh? It runs four wheels of indeterminate size, with Michelin sports tires and whopping big custom-built carbon ceramic brakes. Engler has built its own suspension and steering systems, as well as engine management software and an HD digital dash system.
It's also designed what it calls an "Extreme Cornering System" that "enables the rider to experience the feel of extreme cornering." I have had some personal experience with reasonably quick non-tilting multi-wheelers over the years, notably the Can-Am Spyder, which I think is relevant. With no bucket seat or seat belt holding you into your vehicle, any kind of fast cornering on these things simply tries to throw the rider and passenger off to the outside of the turn.
Indeed, if you want to corner like you remotely mean business on non-tilters like the Spyder, it's an incredibly physical ride. As you approach the corner, hard on the brakes, you throw your upper body to the inside of the turn to prepare for the coming G-force assault, then wrench the handlebars around to steer into the corner (no easy matter, since you have to push the outside bar around while hanging right off the inside). The final step is simply to hang the hell on as centripetal force tries to tear you off your seat. It's not for the faint-hearted.
That's on a Spyder, which is some 1500-odd mm wide. The Superquad is 1950 mm wide, so we'd expect it to be able to corner considerably harder. Best ramp up your core workouts, folks, just the thought of trying to shove this thing into a fast corner is making our face muscles twitch.
It's worth noting that the Spyder has around one eighth the power of this Superquad, which will add a further physical challenge to the equation of simply hanging on with the throttle pinned. And as to the top speed ... One shudders to think what the steering stability of the Superquad might be like at three times highway speed, particularly with brick-wall wind resistance playing havoc with the rider's arms. In short, this thing strikes us as a barely ridable death machine, and we'd dearly love to have a go at it.
It's unclear from the photos exactly how one sits on the Superquad. Perhaps there's some kneeling involved, but it doesn't look like there's much to brace your chest or stomach against under brakes. We'd have to jump aboard to see. But there are two seats, a healthy passenger backstop and a handlebar on this prototype, with no visible pedals and a simple brake lever on the right twistgrip, so the control system seems to be twist and go. Kind of like a scooter, except with the ability to evacuate any bowel placed near it so effectively that you'll find yourself sitting three inches higher on a cushion of your own poorly-digested lunch.
We have no idea what Engler's production plans might entail. Slovakia might let you ride quad bikes on the road, but many other places won't, no matter how much carbon they're wearing. It's a highly odd category of vehicle – as a four-wheeler, it might be expected to meet road certification laws suited to cars, which it patently wouldn't. It may well end up being a track toy, which scares us even more than riding it on the road, since it'll be expected to corner properly hard.
We really have no idea what to think of this thing, but it's so remarkable and unique that we had to cover it. We've reached out to Engler to see if we can set up an interview, and personally I'm really looking forward to speaking to the kind of maniac that would build something like this. Stay tuned!