Vladmir Vitver’s Audi TT-R is a tube-framed monstrosity competing in the FIA European Hillclimb Cup, and its one that’s prone to turn heads; the looks and the sound are mesmerizing. Its aggressive styling has been through two iterations in the last several years, and it’s gone from looking like a road-going TT—albeit one with center-locking wheels—to one that’s completely alien. The front end no longer sports actual headlights, and the sculpted bodywork is so aggressive it hardly resembles the production car. The silhouette is still there, but with so much wing and diffuser detailing the diminutive body, it’s a little hard to place initially.
So much of the appeal of this machine lies in its powerplant. Unlike so many hillclimb specials, this car is devoid of turbochargers and regales the crowds with the wail of its 4.0-liter V8. The powerplant is borrowed from a DTM machine and sits much further back than one would think a V8 with such enormous airboxes could be shoehorned into such a small space. Though it’s spaceframed, the front-engine layout has been retained, and based on the car’s behavior, it seems to only drive the rear wheels.
The high-revving engine makes 480 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque—smoothly and predictably, it has to be said. That linear delivery makes the car quite easy to handle, and the car never seems to break away dramatically. Reassuring and confidence inspiring, the 2,000-pound machine handles with an incredible agility that only increases with speed.