We reached the point of takeoff and found four long strips of Nitto drag tire smeared into the asphalt. The first two strips veered to the left and after that, when the viscous coupling engaged, were two lengthy smears from the rear tires. Chavacci plans to experiment with different thickness of transmission fluid until he finds the viscosity that hooks up the rear earlier. And to the side of the road, in the weeds, shivering and bruised, was my courage. I brushed it off, gave it a cigarette and got behind the wheel of insanity.

Snugly strapped into the four-point racing harness, I stepped into the rock-hard racing clutch. Because of its quick engagement, it required deft feathering of the accelerator to get off the line smoothly. Although the Electromotive TEC-II ECU was programmed for the full-throttle world of the drag strip, drivability at low revs was more than acceptable for such a highly stressed engine. Boost can be felt shortly after 2500 rpm, building progressively as revs climb. Passing maneuvers called for very little throttle and anything more than half throttle put the car in the upper echelon of acceleration. Going full-throttle is a privilege; 600-plus hp is something you have to work up to. Master it and everything pales. Tame its wild nature and tendency, under full power, to squirm like a giant python and you'll think you can drive anything.

People talk about "taking it to another level" or "pushing the envelope," but mad scientists, such as Chavacci, will be the first to tell you that when this work in progress is completed, there will be nowhere else to go. Chavacci has given some thought to making it more well-rounded with suspension mods, big brakes and the right wheel and tire combo. Such tweaks would make it a serious road course terror, and, already, there are other cars in the shop waiting for the same treatment, with the intention of making them more street-able. That means less boost, quicker spooling turbos and even better drivability. Whatever the form, or the purpose, it's safe to say that EIP builds some of the most outrageous Volkswagens on the planet.