In today’s day and age, it sometimes seems enough is never enough. Every other week some new fantastically over-the-top hypercar gets announced, with even more power than before, an even greater top speed, and an even more absurd price tag. Cars costing 2 million, 4 million or even 10 million euros are no exception anymore. And they sell, fast. The other day, Pagani announced the new Utopia hypercar and despite the 2.5 million USD price, all 99 cars have been allocated already. And it’s not just performance or prices that are getting out of hand, some concepts are borderline insane, really! Take the Engler Desat for instance, which we’ll be focusing on in today’s Petrolhead Corner instalment. This, thing for lack of a better word is the marriage between a superbike and an Audi R8 V10. Just let that sink in; a motorbike combined with a V10. Wild, right?
The Super-Quad Concept
Normally a quad bike has a short wheelbase, substantial ride height and wheels on all corners. Steering is done with a set of handlebars, just like on a motorbike and they can be used both on and off-road. To turn this into a super-quad needs some imagination for sure, and also a good dose of insanity. But you’d be surprised to learn the basic idea of a super-quad isn’t entirely new, as there have been a few vehicles along similar lines before it. However, building it like this, where you take an existing chassis and drivetrain and basically convert it to a four-wheeled bike (or quad, obviously) is very uncommon. And it’s not just a creation cobbled together in someone’s shed either, there’s a proper bit of mad-scientist engineering behind it. But before we get to that, we shed some light on at least two creations that preceded the Super-Quad by Engler, at least in spirit.
Dodge, Lazareth, Engler
Engler isn’t the only one to play around with a four-wheeled vehicle that sits between a car and a bike. Even a mainstream manufacturer like Dodge played around with it back in the early 2000s, with the Lazareth LM847 being a more recent example. What Dodge did with the Tomahawk (below, in silver) was put the gargantuan 8.3-litre V10 engine from the Dodge Viper and put it into a futuristic bike frame. The result was a mental-looking thing that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Sci-Fi action movie. It was a concept vehicle through and through and was never considered as a production vehicle as it would have been a right headache to make it road-legal. The most stand-out thing next to the monstrous engine is the narrow-placed front and rear wheels. With a unique tilting independent suspension geometry, the Tomahawk looked like nothing else that came before it. The top speed was a theoretical 300 miles per hour, but this was never put to the test. Dodge allegedly built 9 fully functional Tomahawks in total.
The Lazareth LM847 (above, in red) is built on the same principle, more or less. This also featured double front and rear wheels and used a Maserati V8 engine producing 470 horsepower. In essence, it’s nothing more than a huge powerplant, a front and rear section and basically a steering wheel on top. And honestly, I would be scared out of my mind to ride something like this. And it’s not the only crazy super-quad Lazareth has built, as the Wazuma V8M takes things to even more extreme levels. Built around the same engine, the Wazuma V8M splits the front wheels for a trike-like configuration. With double rear wheels, it again sits somewhere between the concept of a car and bike, or even a trike or a quad.
Engler F.F. Automotive, as the company is officially called, is founded by Victor Engler. Victor’s concept of the Desat, dubbed a Super-Quad by Engler, started with a dream of building a vehicle of his own as far back as the age of ten. The result of his vision is the Desat you see here today, a rather unique-looking vehicle to say the least. On the surface, it looks like a chopped-up road car, and you’d be mostly right but there’s a bit more to it than that.
The Desat starts life as an Audi R8 V10, possible the roofless convertible R8 but there’s no mention of that actually. It’s then stripped down to a bare chassis and drivetrain, before being built back up with a unique carbon fibre body and a seating arrangement like on a superbike. You sit on top of it rather than in it and lean forward to grab the handlebars. Steering is done like on a quad bike, by turning the handlebars left and right. All the work is done in-house, including the entire steering system. So far, so good you’d think but the real craziness starts when you fire up the V10 engine.
The Audi R8 V10 is already a very fast car, as the current generation has 562bhp from a 5.2-litre V10 (also found in the Lamborghini Huracan). The base Engler Desat is listed at 620bhp which is already more than plenty I imagine. But if you want, Engler ups that to a monstrous 1,100 horsepower, just an insane amount of power in any vehicle! Especially a quad bike! Remember, you’re out in the open, with no seatbelt and no mandatory helmet to wear (depending on where you live) as this is technically registered as a car. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that Engler has collaborated with helmet manufacturer Ruroc for a special series of helmets to go along with your Desat.
All this power is said to launch you and an optional passenger to 100kph in around 2.5 seconds, and soldier on to a top speed of 350kph. If you’re brave enough that is and can resist the screams coming from the (un)lucky devil that sits behind you. Luckily, there’s a backrest to lean into when you’re rocketing the Desat towards the horizon. There’s not much else we can tell you at this point, as it was revealed just a couple of weeks ago during the Salon Privé Concours at Blenheim Castle, England. What I can tell you though, is that this is perhaps the ultimate money-no-object and I’ve-seen-it-all-done-it-all toy for the super-rich.
For more information, visit Super-Quad.com