Hohenester S2GT - Die "Gelbe Sau" - 300km/h - 190mph!
The speed is remarkable, still today. My car was clocked by SportAuto in 1994!!!
The "Yellow Sow": One of a kind - one of the most extraordinary cars around
This very special car gave me tons of fun and happiness on the world-famous Nuerburgring Nurburgring Nordschleife Northloop!
There`s a difference between a good car and the right car: The right one makes You happy!
Left wheels in the air! Every car can do that in the Caracciola Carousel - Karussell. But not many do.
Since I am as enthusiastic as anybody can be for the Nuerburgring Northloop I hardly use the S2GT anywhere else. I know several tracks quite well, Hockenheim, Zandvoort, and Spa Francorchamps, f.e., but the Northloop kicks most, this is the ultimate thrill.
I strongly recommend Sony`s Playstation 2 with the Logitec Force Feedback wheel -Sony developed the simulation with this one!- and the famous GT4 - game to get to know the Northloop, which is and will probably always be the royal highness, the Queen of all racetracks. Many race-drivers use the Playstation2 and GT4 to learn the track. It is as near to reality as a simulation can be - though it`s not perfect, of course. You can have Your own reality-check comparing the GT4-Simulation with Videos of the Northloop in the internet. You`ll find a lot in www.youtube.com, f.e. Just enter nurburgring, nuerburgring, Nordschleife or northloop into youtube`s search-function. Let`s see what Sony has in store for the PS3 in the future!
Left wheels in the air! Only the fastest cars can do that in Pflanzgarten2
This car was originally born as an ordinary Audi S2 in 1994. An ordinary S2? Well, back in 1994 the S2 was a sensation itself with the small Audi 80-Coupé-body and the legendary 5-cylinder-20valve-turbo-engine sporting 220hp.
Let's fire it up, now, and take it to the road. Because that's what it's made for!
What did ...
... world-champion Walter Roehrl (left, 2005)
tell me when we met in Austria on the Soelden glacier for a
Porsche Winter-training? "One of the best engines I know. We did about 450.000km - 300.000 miles in race-trim with these!" "I know You`re right, and I think so, too", I answered, "this is precisely the reason why I have two cars with this engine, the 200 Avant and the Hohenester S2GT." He only smiled: "Ah, Alfons. I know him well." - And You can bet Walter knows an awful lot of engines.
One more sentence from Walter Roehrl to think about: "Everything else than Quattro is an emergency-solution."
Of course he is right, since Quattro is what we should have. There is only one exception: a conventional rear-wheel-drive is faster on a dry racetrack. But given the mixed conditions of everyday- and sports-life we wish to keep moving quickly Quattro is first choice, the non-plus-ultra!
That's why I give You another quote. From the glacier we went downhill and up again in a Porsche 996 turbo (Walter was involved in the development of the 996!). The conditions were mixed: dry, wet, snow, ice: everything there, After the u-turn going uphill on snow again I said to Walter: "If You'd ask for my feelings I'd say we'd be faster in an Audi, here." And Walter answered: "Yes."
Let me take the opportunity to give You two more impressions of this wonderful event in the alps....
....before we return to the real thing:
This car is not an "Audi" anymore, it is a "Hohenester" since Hohenester is a registered car-manufacturer. As far as I know he is allowed to keep the rings, nevertheless.
After all, the body`s still Audi, the doors but not the hoods-, the engine-block, the dashboard. Nearly everything else was changed by Hohenester. Not necessarily with special tuning-parts: The brakes for example, are Audi A8. This is reasonable and sufficient. High performance by Hohenester.
When the company-owner Alfons Hohenester built the car and the german "sport auto"-magazine tested it it was still white. He used to say "This car is as quick as a wild sow". Then a friend of mine bought the car. Since he did not like the colour he changed it to yellow. From now on the car was the "Yellow Sow", die "Gelbe Sau". You can bet Your sth that the name is more than vindicated.
What is it that makes the car so good, so remarkable?
Well, first of all it is -of course!- it`s extraordinary power. This car outperformed most supercars in the first 8 years of it`s existence, and it still outperforms some of these today, 14 years later. Why? Because of it`s low weight -this is the only light-version, as far as I know-, because of it`s sheer power, because of it`s four-wheel-drive "Quattro": This were the facts that made the famous Audi S1-and Walter Roehrl!- invincible. These plus Hohenester`s ingenuity are the facts that make this car a great one. He`s the one who did not only give the power, he also made the car last, it is reliable. And seeing it in traffic, You hardly look up: It`s perfect understatement. I even took off the "RS2GT"-letters in the meantime.
To give You an impression: The car is easily as quick as a Porsche 996 turbo or GT3 - ten years after!- , which both put much more rubber on the tarmac than I do: I only have 235/45 ZR 17 versus 335 rear of the Porsche. The performance-figures are similar, the Porsche turbo is 5km/h faster in topspeed (due to lower air-resistence and it`s smaller face-area?), but the "yellow sow" accelerates better due to it`s lower weight.
Meaning: for the same grip the Porsche needs 1/3 more rubber on the road ;)
So my 1994 "Yellow Sow" was still faster on the Nuerburgring Northloop than the 996 turbo built in 2004. But there's more to know!
Alfons Hohenester took my car to Bremen Airport to race a Ferrari F40. It was a bet with the Ferrari owner. And my car clearly outperformed the Ferrari! Bet won!
If You ask me which supercar was faster in 1994 than the "Yellow Sow" I can only say: "I don't know." But there's another point to consider: these "supercars" were anything else than reliable. They had expensive problems every now and then in those days. If there was smoke on the track everybody knew it was just another Ferrari burning down.
My car was as good for 450.000km as Walter Roehrl's Rallye-car. The "Yellow Sow" was and is a "daily driver". You can drive it every day, then go to the race-track, and You will drive home with it. While most cars as fast and many slower cars are brought to the track on trucks!
Hohenester only asked to exchange the crankshaft bearings every 40.000 km: that's it!!!! Apart from that: no special service!
Just the other day I had an argument with a professional race-driver telling me that's not possible. Well, this guy just doesn't know Alfons Hohenester. Alfons went to Nardo in Italy behind the wheel to battle the then fastest cars with his HS 650, the successor of the "Yellow Sow".
October 22, 2006: The HS 650 was clocked 343,9 km/h. With mirrors. About ALL the others took the mirrors off. Tech-Art Porsche 334 km/h! Then Hohenester gave the keyes to the journalists present, and they could drive the car. The he went home driving himself.
ALL combattants were brought in trucks. No journalist was allowed to drive them! Several broke down with technical problems!
First the Ferrari broke down. Business as usual!
Then the Sportec Porsche retired unforeseen, camshaft failure. Unforeseen?
A car Hohenester built is not allowed to break down with technical problems!
I know the Porsche turbo quite well, the 996 and the 997, I drove the 996 turbo many kilometers. But the car that comes closest to the "yellow sow" is the Lamborghini Gallardo from it`s power and roadholding-characteristics.
I`d say that those I met on the Nuerburgring (Porsche turbo and GT3) fought in my class. The final question, of course, "Which one`s faster?" must stay without an answer, since especially on the Northloop the quality of the driver makes a large difference. And if You`re in an unforeseen combat-situation on a race-track You do not know the car of Your combattant, either: You do not know whether the car was severely changed, i.e. tuned. Passing another car You can`t even judge whether the guy is on road tyres or semi-slicks!
Just to give You an example: Being there with a Porsche turbo we met a guy who had one, too: a blue car with tiptronic, as we could easily see. Both 996, ours manual-shift. But we could also identify when we were near that the whole body was made from carbon-fiber, there was no tin, no steel anymore. He quantified his weight-advantage with 400kg`s, stating that one of his doors weighed 1.5 kg`s: hard to believe, but true. And he said despite it`s low weight the resistance against impacts was better than that of the factory-door! He stated he had no engine-tuning. We entered the northloop one after the other, and -at full throttle!- felt as we were standing compared to the blue car! At the end of the Doettinger Hoehe the advantage was about 300m, after 2000m of track! Unbelievable! I now know that his engine was a lot stronger too! turbo versus turbo. Well, this is the way things are. You never know. Best stuff in the world, there, at the Northloop, and......regularly!!!
Alfons Hohenester, the manufacturer, built this car for himself for two purposes:
It was registered as a manufacturers test-car. He could do any changes without having to fuss with the German technical surveillance, the TUEV.
AND he used it as a backup for his son`s racecar. If anything broke during a race he had all the spare-parts in his second car. My street-version was more powerful than the race-car, because the ADAC-Cup-Race-rules demanded an air-restrictor, and my car has a larger turbo. In the racecar Hohenester desired more spontaneous response, in the streetcar he wanted maximum power. That`s what he got!
What is it like to drive this car?
As I said above, the Lamborghini Gallardo comes closest of the cars I know. It`s an Audi, too, after all. Since You probably haven`t driven a Gallardo let me tell You what I feel sitting in the yellow sow, givin` the spurs: The first impression is the push these 400 horses do generate being applied to 1250kg`s: It`s sexy. 400hp? Well, I don`t know, honestly. sportauto lists 376hp, generated at 6500/min. That`s where the problem starts: I`ve got a red button in the dashboard that gives me an additional 40-50hp estimated. That`s why I have to buy 100octane-fuel plus octane-booster that adds another 5octane-points to make it 105 overall. My rev-limiter is at 7000/min. A turbo-engine like this offers linear power-growth with increasing revs, until the engine bursts. The rev-limiter was at 7700/min before. It was reduced to be nicer to the endurance. Now what power does this engine have? I don`t know. All I know is that the lower rev-limit is enough to successfully fight a 2004 996 Porsche turbo or 2004 GT3 without having to press my red button. Still in 2004, the "Yellow Sow" 10 years old. How about the 997`s? They`re noticeably quicker, now, than the 996`s. I don`t know. If I should find out that they are faster I`ll readjust the rev-limiter at 7700/min. That should do.
Let`s stick to the Gallardo for another sec. The Lambo offers 500hp with a displacement of 5ltrs = 5000ccm (cubic centimeters), torque 500nm (newtonmeter). I have a 2,5 ltr-engine, about 400hp, plus 580nm torque!!! At least. Questions?
The road-holding-capabilities of the Hohenester S2GT are exhilarating, they make You smile happily. The car does not offer any surprises. You can adjust the characteristics from under- via neutral to oversteer just the way You like it. I prefer a neutral-to-slight oversteer-setup for the northloop. sportauto had problems going straight ahead, but that was a problem of the Bridgestone-tyres. My car, standing on Dunlop Formula R-tyres is flawless. Being adrift You can apply full throttle and the car moves - not sideways, but FORWARD in a most impressive way. Two tyres off tarmac? Never worry, don`t lift. With most other cars You`d be offroad, then! This car pulls You out of a corner as if bound to a steel-wire. Pure fun! If a Porsche GT3 was and is still poison, thru the years, to the average driver, Jeremy Clarkson f.e., the Hohenester is a car You can send with Your girl-friend for a driving-instruction-session on any track. No problems.
Well, perhaps not. When I bought the car I had a test-ride with the seller, a friend. He insisted to drive himself, and I was surprised. Then he left the vehicle at the end of a 1-mile-straight with the words: "Now YOU may have Your go!" And so I did. He later told me that seeing me emerge from the corner at the beginning of the straight he was convinced I would not survive the year-to-come. But I did. No problem. I had a problem in 2007 when I was dead several times, but this is another story and has nothing to do with the yellow sow.
The well-reputed german magazine "sportauto" allowed me to reproduce the article they wrote about my car (it was still white when they drove it) in 1994:
THNX, Mrs. Dettweiler (motor presse international, Stuttgart) for Your friendly support.
WHATEVER YOU DO WITH OR TO YOUR CAR, YOU DO IT ON YOUR OWN RISK, NOT MINE!
AND: Do NOT sue me or Audi or whomever for YOUR faults. (Killing Your kid IS !YOUR! fault! - I
do refer to that american mother who did so and caused multi-million-$-damage
to the Audi-reputation in USA for years without refunding Audi for the damage
she had done.) The information provided in here is solely intended to widen
Your theoretical knowledge. Do NOT try any of the procedures described. Join
an instructor on a race-track if You REALLY wish to learn to react properly!
Perhaps You'd like to visit the Audi S-Org
, where they have a nice and international S-car- as well as