The Hofstetter Turbo
One of my all-time favorite kit cars — although one could argue this is more of a limited run specialty vehicle built in the style of a kit car — is the Brazilian Hofstetter Turbo, built during a period where Brazil had restrictive auto import laws and foreign exotics were hard to come by which invigorated domestic designers. The prototype came out in 1980, said to be based on Bertone’s Carabo (which also inspired the Aztec 7) although to me I also see the Bulldog, the Boomerang, and the first generation Lotus Esprit in the design. While Mario Hofstetter had hoped to build thirty a year starting in 1984, only about twenty were made in all when production ended in 1991. Early models used an engine from a Passat, with the later ones using a 2.0L engine out of the VW Santana, claiming a top speed of 236 km/h with the Garret turbo. The chassis was custom with VW components (although it originally used Chevette suspension), the gullwing doored body was made of fiberglass, and the interior was done in leather with digital instrumentation.