Exterior enhancements now include A4-style headlights from a late-model Cabriolet, flanking an Abt grille. Down low sits an Abt spoiler and out back sits an Abt rear spoiler. The bumper covers, side skirts and mirrors were all color-matched to the factory white paint.
Controlling suspension compression are complete Bilstein Rallye/Race front struts in front, while in back, Koni five-way adjustable shocks are paired with custom-rate race springs on each corner.
Before I got behind the wheel, Chavacci had me ride along for some orientation. After closing the door, I reached behind to grab the seatbelt. Then I turned around to find the belt missing. To shave weight, Chavacci and crew had stripped the car of all unnecessary hardware, including the passenger seatbelt, grab handle and the temporary seat I sat on. "Just don't kill me, Rich," was all I asked as we motored away.
Late afternoon traffic kept Chavacci from really stepping into it. Instead, he'd get into the boost for short bursts before getting hard on the brakes. The massive surge of torque was enough to make it feel as though there was a black hole in the seat sucking me into a void of exponential gravity.
The moment of truth came right after the car in front turned off, revealing an empty B-road that stretched to the horizon. On a roll, Chavacci nailed it, causing a slight jerk to the left, a correction by Chavacci, and then the car compressed and then...bolted? No, catapulted? No, took off? No. Imagine a missile being released from an F-16. For the first second, it seems to wag its tail. Then it gathers itself and disappears. EIP's creation has the power to cause tunnel vision, blurring everything except that pinpoint furthest down the road, and until you get used to it, your mind is always playing catch-up. It makes you believe in wormholes (theoretical shortcuts in space).
"You should feel it at really high boost," Chavacci said as we turned around. Boost was set at 1.4 bar or 21 psi. Giddy. Delirious. Without a point of reference and paralyzed by fear, I told him, "I don't need to drive this thing, Rich." That blink in time had us in the (mid) triple digits before I could realize that I was scared out of my mind-which had left my body a mile earlier in its refusal to participate.