When i got my rabbit, it had a lowly 1.5L diesel. 48 horsepower and 52 ft lbs torque with a low geared 4 speed. it now has a different 1.5L engine with 25 psi boost, a ported head, 6500 rpm governor , a big intercooler, an intake manifold off a gas car, a turbo off of a TDI jetta, a 5 speed out of a newer VW, 2.5" stainless exhaust. ive never had it on a dyno YET, but from whats done, i would make an educated guess that its pushing 130 horse. this is one of those kind of rigs where you get it into 5th gear and leave it there, just use the torque to keep yourself going. this is my first diesel powered vehicle, but it definitely wont be the last. im addicted to the low end grunt of these diesels. it just so happens that my diesel has quite a bit on the top end too, thanks to my custom governor springs. i have only seen maybe 1 or 2 VW rabbits in your magazine, but never one built up with some power. all the ones ive seen were all the mileage misers. sure, mine can get 50 mpg like the best of them, but the worst mileage i see is about 35 mpg. oh yea, this is a pretty budget minded build. i still have way under $1000 into the whole car, but the car was a gift. i love seeing more diesel cars in the magazine, but still, not many older diesels. its too easy to plug in wires and push buttons and turn knobs. all my power i had to build with tools and parts. kinda hard to program an engine that runs on one wire!
Oh yea, if you really get on it pulling out on the highway, you can smoke out entire intersections. im amazed at the amount of black smoke this little engine can pump out.