If you’re looking for a way to stir the pot with your VW purists friends, show them this successfully swapped MK2 VW Golf with the heart of a Honda engine under the hood.
There are few things as sacrilege in the greater import community than swapping a Honda engine in a VW or vice-versa. With the two sides firmly planted in each fan base, getting either a Honda or VW purist to recognize the redeeming qualities of the other manufacturer, well, you’ll have an easier to time pulling teeth from an alligator. So, when I came across this Honda B16 engine swap from SurFab, a New Zealand fabrication shop down near Christchurch earlier today (Mar. 28,2019) I had to share it with all y’all. Check out some of the photos of what’s mostly a successful swap down below.
With the hood closed, you’d be hard-pressed to know there’s a Japanese engine lurking underneath but when you pop the hood, the bright red valve cover of Honda’s B16 screams out at you that it means business.
VW makes some fine engines, no doubt, but when comparing how either company goes about making its power given a certain size, it’s clear Honda’s small four-cylinders pack some of the biggest power punches of the time period. From a mere 97.3 cubic inches or 1.6L, Honda is able to extract a screaming 182 HP and 118 lb-ft if you source their hottest B16B found in the barn screamer of a Civic Type R. Even VW’s mighty VR6 with two extra cylinders and a relatively massive 194.6 cubic inches ( or 3.2L) could only muster a respectable 238 HP and 236 lb-ft.
Subsequently, weighing in at around 400 pounds, it’s 100 pounds heavier than the smaller B16.
Whoever ordered up this B16 swapped MK2 wanted something that made reliable power but wouldn’t be a boat anchor up front.
As an aside and to better understand just how controversial this swap is, I’ve copied and pasted this fine comment from someone on Facebook when their friend shared Surfab’s post above as a possibility for their own VW.
“Please dont. (sic) Volkswagen makes good 4 cylinder engines… do something different, maybe a 2.0T FSI with DSG, as apposed to all the 1.8t or Vr6 swaps. Try a 2.5 tfsi i5, they sound like heaven and are cheap. Plenty of options available if you are creative. Throwing a honda engine in a classic VW is like s****ing in a cake and serving it to a family member on their birthday. ?”
I’m all for this swap, obviously, and can’t wait to hear this tiny hot hatch roar to life. What do you think about this combination? Let me know in the comments below.