Of all the wacky car experiments that the popular Russian YouTube channel Garage 54 ENG has conducted, prepare to see the Magnum Opus: a Lada with its inline-four bolted to a second inline-four hanging out of the front of the car. And the homemade straight-eight actually works!
Garage 54 ENG is the world’s premier automotive Send-It laboratory, so don’t expect to see any fancy couplers or complex bodywork. Nope, the team of wrenchers simply removed the red Lada’s radiator, cut off the center section of the radiator support crossmember as well as the lower fascia and sway bar, then slid some steel square tubes into the existing unibody rails and added some supports to what was left of the radiator support.
From there, they mounted an engine to the tubes and bolted its flywheel to a pressure plate that they’d welded to the original engine’s crankshaft pulley, setting it up such that cylinder four on the front engine fired at the same time as cylinder one on the back engine.
The homebrew inline-eight looks quite sketchy, but it’s mostly just amazing:
In the video above, Vlad’s younger sidekick named Cyril (or Kyril?) sets a baseline of 6.5 seconds to 37 mph (60 km/h) in the mostly stock Lada. Then, after fastening the second engine, and after hooking up a household heater to act as a vehicle radiator, attempting to synchronize the carbs via a custom linkage, installing a T-coupler in the fuel line to feed the two engines, giving power to the coils, and hooking up the distributors, he went back out to see how quickly the inline-eight would get the car up to speed. Except this time, he tried it in snow:
Despite the wheelspin, and some bogging low in the rev range, the ~2.7-liter straight-eight-powered Lada ripped to 37 about three tenths of a second quicker than it had when it was propelled by just a four-banger. The video definitely makes the straight-eight Lada seem loud, but it doesn’t seem as unrefined as I’d have guessed a home-made inline-eight would, and actually, it seems quick!
By the looks of it, though, Garage 54 isn’t done. Here’s what the team has posted to its Russian Instagram page:
Yes, that’s three inline-fours hooked together to create an inline-twelve:
There’s actually already a video on this custom twelve-cylinder on the team’s Russian YouTube page, so it’s probably only a matter of time before we get a translated version of how that absurdly long engine performs on the dyno.