If you live in the US you’ve most likely never heard of the Seat brand, let alone the Seat Arosa. Truth be told, even in Europe this model is barely known as it has been manufactured in rather small numbers, as an alternative to the popular Volkswagen Lupo. As a matter of fact, they share a lot of their underpinnings as it was the case back in the late 1990s across all brands in the VAG group. This little beast though is something else altogether.
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As you probably already figured out, this little Seat has been tuned into oblivion to become somewhat of a dragster. It’s not your usual drag racer though as it does send all of its power to the front axle but it is quite quick off the line. The engine under the hood is a 2-liter diesel but it has almost nothing left in it from the original setup. The rods, pistons, cylinders, turbo, everything has been either replaced or upgraded in order to cope with the newfound levels of power.
The turbo comes from a tractor and works at 4 bar of boost which is huge by any measure. The gearbox has been reinforced to make sure it doesn’t blow up mid-race and the wheels have been changed out as well for proper slicks to make sure the Arona gets some grip. In the end, the engine is apparently making 550 HP and some 650 lb-ft of torque, numbers dangerously close to what the M5 has, the little diesel engine actually putting out more torque than the Bimmer’s 4.4-liter V8.
With a kerb weight of just 800 kilos, this thing is a rocket but, as you’re about to see, putting the power down is a bit of an issue, at least at first. The BMW M5 with its 600 HP and all-wheel drive is a proper rocket off the line and beats the diesel alongside it for the first couple of yards. However, once the Seat gets up to speed things change.