Angry Rabbit: 1982 Volkswagen With 401 HP!

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With the MK1 Rabbit, Volkswagen adapted to a rapidly changing compact vehicle market – after all, the MK1 was the successor to the original Volkswagen Beetle. The model remains a staple in Volkswagen’s history due to its delightful styling, but it also has the potential to be quite a performer – as seen by this 400+ horsepower 1982 Rabbit L that’s here on eBay.

This Rabbit is available in Brooklyn, New York, where it was garage kept by the same owner and built over the last decade. The seller claims it was originally a barn find that was original and rust-free, though I can only wonder if the period-correct Kamei body kit was also part of that find. Regardless, they make it clear how rust-free this example is, noting there is none on the rocker panels, floors, wheel wells, or bottom of the windshield. Also, the body has never been repaired or repainted during its lifetime.

Of course, there’s the heavily modified drivetrain that this Rabbit possesses, which is a combination of parts from various different Volkswagen models. When the seller originally acquired the shell, they swapped in a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine from a Scirocco. Eventually, they grew bored with that engine, electing to add a turbocharger and swap in a bored out and built bottom end from a 1992 GTI. The transmission lasted for a single day of driving before it failed and was subsequently replaced by a built unit with a limited-slip differential. The advertisement provides plenty of information about the drivetrain build, including dyno sheets.

The interior of this Rabbit looks immaculate too, with a woodgrain steering wheel and reupholstered seats. There also gauges for boost, air/fuel ratio, and more, which are necessities for a modified vehicle like this.

At the time of this article, bidding is at $3,500 with the reserve not met, though it has a Buy it Now price of $12,000. It is clear this Rabbit was painstakingly cared for, especially with a decade of ownership by the same person who built it. Would you want this modified MK1, or would you rather have a more original example?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Capriest

    I love everything about this car, even the floormats! This must be a blast to drive! It was a base model as well so nobody can whine about ruining a classic with mods. I would take this over a mint gti.

    Like 9
  2. Capriest

    I just prey the next owner doesn’t stance it. For some reason v-dub guys seem unable to resist doing that.

    Like 9
  3. Kafka Esquire

    It’ll need new tires. Monthly.

    Like 9
    • Phil

      In MY case—weekly…

      Like 5
      • Joe

        My kinda car. (I have the Car & Driver 2 Accord engined ’84 CRX)

        Like 1
      • Karl

        It sounds like it’s still front wheel drive, how do you say incredible torque steer! I don’t see how this could possibly work well?

        Like 1
  4. redwagon

    Amazing. I thought the BIN price was ‘reasonable’. There must be something wrong with me. I would still want to do a PPI and have it validated but it does look very clean and I love the cream sleeper look. Well the hood doesn’t look so sleeperish but I am not complaining. The torque steer must be incredible.

    Like 6
  5. Oilyhands

    That’s one “Wascally Wabbit” (said in an Elmer Fudd voice). considering the stock GTI is a hoot to drive, increasing the HP by a factor of 4 must be mighty interesting! I’m sure the brakes have been proportionally upgraded??

    Like 5
  6. Todd FitchStaff

    Nice one, Kevin! A friend built a 180 HP Rabbit for autocross. I believe his license plate was BAD BNY. The sticky tires made it corner like crazy but they also helped remarkably with acceleration. 400 used to be about the limit for a street car, even RWD, but tire technology continues to improve. Should be fun! Definitely take some fishing line and remove that hood scoop.

    Like 2
  7. Ike Onick

    Torque steer much! Yowza!!

    Like 2
  8. Arby

    I’d call that a “wild hare”.

    Like 2
  9. lbpa18

    Id take off the body kits, scoop, and wheels and drive it like an understated sleeper. Then Id blow the doors off some youngster in a flashy hot rod with the big ego. All while wearing my Walter Mitty tie, fedora, and glasses. What a blast.

    Like 4
  10. Locutus of Bjorn

    “That rabbit’s dynamite!”

    Like 1
  11. Trick1

    Listing is gone

    Like 0
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      Works for me. You might try it on a desktop.

      Like 1
  12. Wayne

    I love it. I have had several Rabbit based vehicles. (Rabbit, Scirocco) And never had a bad torque steer problem. (one Scirocco had a Super V engine) But I am sure that this much HP and torque would be fun to deal with. The limited slip would go a long ways to keep a launch in a straight line. But will work against you when cornering under power. (understeer anyone?)
    I had a hot rod Civic (worse than a VW in stock for for torque steer) that had a bad case of torque steer. I could drive for miles without using steering inputs from the steering wheel. This looks like fun and I also don’t feel that the price is too high as long as mechanically it is sound.

    Like 0
  13. jamesMember

    Anyone going up against this thing are likely to have a “Bad Hare Day”!

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! :-)

    Like 1
  14. Mr. Bond
  15. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Bidding didn’t get much more than halfway to the BIN.

    Heck, the owner didn’t really want to sell it anyway.
    But the money his wife was counting on is not coming in….

    Like 0

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