The Volkswagen Beetle’s design, weight, and abundant numbers makes it a popular choice for racing. Sean Mckillop agreed when he purchased a 1970 Bug five years ago and transformed it into the autocross monster called Bugzilla.
Sean’s goal from the beginning was a street-legal race car with a mid-engine layout. This meant the factory chassis and pan wouldn’t do. So Sean built a custom full tube chassis with an 8-point roll cage.
Sean reviewed several engine options but settled on GM’s all-aluminum Ecotec inline-four. Sean originally used a 2.2 L Ecotec but after spinning a bearing he built a 2.3 L Ecotec using a 2.4 L block and 2.2 L crank.
The engine features a CNC ported head, custom JE pistons, Eagle H-beam rods, Comp camshafts, LS1 throttle body and Eaton M62 supercharger. It produces 425 horsepower on 9 psi of boost.
Behind the engine sits a Spec Stage 4 clutch and Exedy flywheel connected to a Getrag F23 five-speed manual transmission positioned transversely. Power goes to the rear wheels through Driveshaft Shop axles rated for 600 horsepower.
Under the car Sean built a custom independent suspension with a focus on Autocross. The suspension uses Miata spindles and QA1 double adjustable coilovers on each corner. He also chose a quick steering aluminum rack by Kartek Offroad that increased the width from 54 inches to 68 inches.
You can see Wilwood disc brakes through a set of TRMotorsport C1 lightweight 15-inch wheels with Nitto NT01 tires. The front brakes use 12-inch rotors with six-piston calipers while the rear use 11-inch rotors with four-piston calipers.
The Bug lost some weight thanks to fiberglass trunk lid and fenders. The fenders are 2.5 inches wider in front and 3 inches wider in back than the stock fenders. Sean removed the bottom part of the hood for a custom grill and trunk lid also had a custom vent cut into it. A Ron Lumas Racing aluminum wing helps the Bug stay planted.
Sean’s hard work and talent resulted in a pretty fast Bug. He won the compact car class and ultimate street car class in his first event. However Sean is hoping some extra power will help him compete against the big boys in Optima’s Ultimate Street Car.