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Click above for high-res gallery of TopGear.com America's Project Sipster

TopGear.com America is its own beast, separate and distinct from what Jezza, Hampster and Captain Slow are doing across the pond and within the pages of Top Gear magazine. Having the greatest role models in the world for inspiration, the editors of the site have embarked on their first project car that should make the mother ship very proud. The parameters for this project are simple: 70 mpg, 0-60 in under 7 seconds and less than $7,000. There might be a number of ways to satisfy those restrictive requirements with things like batteries, hydrogen and nuclear fission, but TG America has settled on a solution we can get behind: Take a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel and swap out its 28-year-old engine for a modern piece of turbocharged VW TDI tech. The engine swap along won't get the job done, so the team will drive its Frankenügen from the build site in Saskatchewan all the way to Southern California for some expert help with aerodynamics (they're gonna need it). Click here to read the excellent intro for this project car series and answer the call to help name the beast, which is being called Sipster until something better is suggested. You can also check out some high-res build photos in the gallery below and view the teaser video after the jump.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey.. why not buy a Geo Metro..

      get some "aero tweaks" on that.. "lower rolling resistance tires" and see what comes of it.

      Last I heard it easily gets high 40's. (46-48) with NO tweaks.

      Now if they do COST per mile.. then it will be VERY close..

      53mpg with gas = 53 @1.93gallon = 3.64 cents per mile.

      70mpg with diesel = 70 @ 2.39gallon (in Phila area) = 3.41 cents per mile.

      Now consider that it diesel gets less "power" out of a barrel of oil.. I don't think that it solves our current problem of importing oil.

      Nice try, lets keep moving forward! I still think all cars should have start/stop function. I think that alone would decrease our fuel consumption by 1%. (that still equates to millions of gallons everyday saved)
        • 6 Years Ago
        A MK1 Golf weighs 750kg. Now say it would end up weighing 850kg with a modern 2.0 TDI engine, it would end up with 165hp per ton in 140hp form.
        That's about the same as say an Audi TT 3.2 quattro.

        And we aren't even talking about the 170hp version of the 2.0 TDI.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Throw a modern 2.0 TDI in a full inetrior MK1 Golf and it will do 0-60 in 6
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll take that bet.

        It'll do it in under 7 (which is what is required). But I don't think the 2.0TDI is going to get there in under 6 without lightening the car even further or tuning the engine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saskatchewan.....HOLD ON I LIVE THERE!
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ notYou and Blacksabre

      Who frickin' cares? You are both completely missing the point of the project. FAIL! I guess katshot has it right.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why doesn't Top Gear America try an even more ambitious project - like getting itself to air on TV?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds ambitious and it will probably be rubbish...Therefore it meets all the criteria for Top Gear. Jezza, Slow, and Hamster would approve!
      • 6 Years Ago
      If a modern Chrysler can do all those things, they would be no.1!

      And I agree with katshot, some of you guys are taking this way to seriously. :) This is entertainment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did anyone else notice the byline on the article?


      From Sport Compact Car, may it rest in peace.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I came here to post that too. Right on Dave!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This should be interesting
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good grief, where did they find such a clean '81 Rabbit? Did they also build a time machine? Judging by the rectangular headlights, and the different park lights and side marker lights, it appears to be a Pennsylvania-built Rabbit. I never did like those things, with their cheesy monochromatic interiors.
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