What do you get when you take a car that’s only slightly larger than a Smart Car and add a turbocharged diesel engine capable of producing over 600 horsepower? You get the SEAT Arosa Mk2 built by Darkside Developments. This nasty little European car is the quickest diesel-powered, front-wheel-drive vehicle in the world and it’s capable of mid 9-second passes.
The SEAT Mk2’s ancestry is based in Germany where it began life as a part of Volkswagen’s Up line of cars. These vehicles were designed to be three-door economy rides made for small families to provide good gas mileage with their 1.0-liter engines backed by a manual transmission. As an economy car, the SEAT fits its role perfectly, but just like so many other vehicles, a drag racer saw it as an opportunity to go fast.
Darkside Developments has been working on its Seat Arosa for a few years and it’s seen a few combinations. The current engine is a 16-valve, 2.0-liter common rail diesel engine that lives inside the MSA spec roll cage. Rotating inside the block is a set of modified stock pistons and Rosten H-beam connecting rods. Darkside ported the cylinder head, added a stud kit, upgraded the valve springs, and added performance camshafts. A single BorgWarner turbo from a John Deere combine creates 60-pounds of boost that is blown through the engine. A TKM twin-disk clutch assists with sending power to the transmission and Quaife limited slip differential.
When Darkside Developments turned the SEAT up with the new combination, the results were impressive: the tiny terror laid down a 9.46 at 150 mph ,highlighted by a 1.48 60-foot and 6.18 1/8-mile times. Check out the video from Darkside Designs that shows just how gnarly this little car really is.