While it might not be our cup of tea per se, drifting has become an inviting home for the LS platform. In fact, we’d go as far to say that the LS has become a favorite amongst drifters for the simple fact that it’s lightweight and can reliably produce gobs of power at the flick of an ankle. When it comes to a sport that requires balance and power, it’s the perfect combination.
And though we’ve seen many LS-swapped drift cars, from 240SXs to E36 BMWs, we’ve never seen–or better yet heard–anything quite like drifting legend Tanner Faust’s LS power VW Passat. Yes, you read that right, a Passat. And despite the chassis the LS7 is stuffed into not holding much appeal to us, after we heard this thing blip the throttle a couple of time, we’re having a hard time not falling in love.
The Passat has clearly been converted to rear-wheel drive and uses a custom built independent rear suspension. To keep the car balanced, the built 700-horsepower LS7 was set as far back in the chassis as possible. And while it does technically fit, there was no room left but forward for the exhaust to go. Though the team could have modified the firewall, this would have violated Formula Drift rules and excluded the car from competition.
But regardless of the rule book, we’re happy they made the choices they did as that’s where the wonderful burble of this drift car comes from. Faust’s team brought the headers toward the front of the car and tied them together with an 8-to-1 collector. You’ve probably seen 180-degree headers, and you’d be excused for thinking that this custom setup is of that design, but it actually isn’t.
In a 180-degree header setup, you have two separate 4-to-1 collectors that have pipes from opposing banks feeding into each one. The 180-degree header then has two pipes that exit at the rear and work to improve scavenging in a 90-degree V8 design. Faust’s setup, on the other hand, combines every tube coming off the engine into one collector that then feeds a single pipe that dumps just after the rear axle. Allegedly the pipes are all equal length as well and they imbue the car with a sinister shriek.
According to Faust, the fabrication of the headers only took roughly 12 hours. Whoever did the work is a true craftsman and to create such a work of art in such a short time frame is unheard of. Not only is the design aesthetically pleasing, but the aural experience is one of the best you’ll ever have.
Clearly the LS7 has been breathed on pretty hard as it gains and sheds RPM at the drop of a hat, not to mention it makes 700 horsepower without spray. With the nitrous system energized, the engine will make 900, allowing it to be competitive in Formula D. So, if you don’t care too much for the car’s aesthetic, close your eyes and turn it up because you’ll like never hear another LS like it in your life.