800bhp and 7.4-litres in a BILSTEIN-equipped Audi A5 drift car

It’s not unusual to see BILSTEIN motorsport dampers tucked under an Audi race car. But when the Audi in question runs a 7.4-litre, 800bhp V8 sending power to the rear-wheels only… it’s safe to say that’s something you don’t see every day.

Because the Audi pictured here, although reminiscent of a DTM racer, isn’t built for chasing lap times… it’s built to go drifting! BILSTEIN has been a huge fan of drifting for many years now, supporting a wide range of cars and drivers around the world, but Likuta-san’s Audi A5 is unquestionably the wildest yet.

Built by Racing Outlet Helios in Japan, the Audi A5 is everything you don’t attribute with drifting – Quattro, awkward engine packaging and prone to understeer. But that’s also what makes it so refreshing to see, and in typical Japanese tuning style, Likuta-san’s A5 hasn’t cut ANY corners.

It’s not an ex-race car, it’s not been anywhere near DTM in fact. This was a standard Audi A5 stripped back to a bare shell before embarking on the complete overhaul by Helios which is on par with just about any other professional race build we’ve ever seen. Its party piece? That monster 7.4-litre LSX 454R motor… with a cool 800 naturally-aspirated horses!

There’s a common misconception in drifting that cars require very little grip, but the reality is actually the opposite. Professional drift cars are built and set up with serious levels of grip, ensuring the car remains predictable and stable when driving on the edge. It’s not unusual to see motorsport-derived suspension on professional drift cars, and Likuta-san’s A5 is no different. Everything from the dampers, wishbones, hubs and steering arms are machined to provide both increased grip and steering angle – a necessity within professional drifting.

Abe Shokai, Japan’s official importer of BILSTEIN suspension, joined Likuta-san at a recent shakedown to offer support and feedback on the bespoke MSD dampers fitted to the Audi. Alongside the coilover, a linear potentiometer was fitted in order to record telemetry throughout the day to allow BILSTEIN to further tweak and refine the spring rates & damper adjustment. Given the demands of drifting – and unusual platform – this level of data is essential for getting the absolute most performance from a car, regardless of whether it’s built to drift, drag or track.

There’s a long way to go yet, but we’re hugely proud to be a part of such a fantastic build all the way in Japan. A German car powered by American muscle and built for Japanese racing, everything we love in one awesome package!

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