Automotive

Horrifying Slovakian "Superquad" puts an 850-horsepower V10 motor in a quad bike

Horrifying Slovakian "Superqua...
The Engler FF Superquad: what the hell, man?
The Engler FF Superquad: what the hell, man?
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The Engler FF Superquad: what the hell, man?
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The Engler FF Superquad: what the hell, man?
5.2-liter twin-supercharged V10 Lamborghini power
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5.2-liter twin-supercharged V10 Lamborghini power
Carbon/tatnium "carbonium" bodywork
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Carbon/tatnium "carbonium" bodywork
A custom-built titanium exhaust system
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A custom-built titanium exhaust system
No pedals or levers are in evidence on the prototype as yet
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No pedals or levers are in evidence on the prototype as yet
That's a healthy sized passenger backstop there
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That's a healthy sized passenger backstop there

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).

That's a healthy sized passenger backstop there
That's a healthy sized passenger backstop there

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.

Carbon/tatnium "carbonium" bodywork
Carbon/tatnium "carbonium" bodywork

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.

No pedals or levers are in evidence on the prototype as yet
No pedals or levers are in evidence on the prototype as yet

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!

Source: Engler

9 comments
Bionic88
Good idea, make a Hot Wheels full sized car. Bad idea, make a full sized Hot Wheels car and remove most of the safety features and call it a quad. It would be pointless to even wear a helmet on this thing. Shipping container should be a coffin.
Captain Danger
"A barely rideable death machine" Loz, you could be a marketing genius. I to would like to have go, although I think it would be wise to skip lunch before getting on
Guy Macher
Another comic book idea come to life! How about a tilt-rotor and wings, too?
ei3io
It might be a great combo of Skydiving post Bike thrill ride using its AI fully auto ejection rocket back pack seat after the rubber leaves the road in a pre tumbling compaction dance and the use the shipping container to fill with the refuse,,, ??
BeinThayer
"..accelerate like a buckshot rabbit....." . I believe you have gotten more than one metaphor mixed up. A buckshot rabbit would not be impressively quick...it would be dead. Maybe if you peppered it with fine birdshot, it would quickly accellerate, but not with buckshot.
Venetian
Now THAT is a fantastic way to commit suicide.
Kiffit
This is a vehicle purpose built for one of Sacha Baron Cohan characters, like 'Borat'.
martinkopplow
This is european, isn't it? Well, in Europe everything heavier that 500kg is not a Quad. So this is just a car with most useful equipment stripped off. Impressive, though useless. Also, it runs on exploding dinosaur bones, which makes it appear so yesterday.
Martin Hone
I agree that hanging on is going to present some issues, but rather than compare it to the Can Am, try comparing it to a racing side car.....