"Welcome to the world of Kevin and KC Howeth, masterminds behind Charlotte, North Carolina-based Underground Racing. The brothers have simply perfected the art of extracting humongous amounts of horsepower from Lamborghini's V-10. And delivering a custom-built, trouble-free package that's the closest thing to a street-legal dragster."
Transform your V10 Lamborghini Gallardo into a 1000HP TT missile
(This story comes from the February 2009 issue of DuPont Registry)
Story by: Howard Walker, Photos by: Underground Racing
Need a quick thrill? Head to YouTube and type in the words Underground Racing. Click on one of the 'world record' clips, then sit back and prepare to enjoy 9.976 awconds of pure, unadulterated, adrenaline rush.
That's how long it takes for the stock-looking, but evil-sounding Lamborghini Gallardo to hook-up, lunge off the line and spear through the dragstrip quarter-mile. Through-the-trap velocity? That would be a staggering 161.8 mph. And if that wasn't jaw-dropping enough, wait till you see that this world record run was achieved not on sticky race rubber, but on regular, daily-driver street tires.
Welcome to the world of Kevin and KC Howeth, masterminds behind Charlotte, North Carolina-based Underground Racing. The brothers have simply perfected the art of extracting humongous amounts of horsepower from Lamborghini's V-10. And delivering a custom-built, trouble-free package that's the closest thing to a street-legal dragster.
Right now, their most popular twin turbo conversion takes the stock 513-horsepower 5.0-liter Lambo V-10 and boosts it to a massive 1,026-horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. And that's power delivered at the wheels. Then Kevin casually mentions that currently in the works is a Gallardo R-package with even bigger turbos that takes max power to over 1,200 horsepower.
The two brothers started their tuning business back in 2003 developing supercars and twin-turbo packages for Dodge Vipers and now more recently for the Ford GT.
Ask them nicely, and they'll still build you an Underground Racing Viper SRT10 with insane 1,600-horsepower and the muscle to run a quarter-mile in 7.98 seconds at 183 mph. But with more pre-owned Gallardos coming on to the market at surprisingly affordable prices, Kevin and KC saw a potential niche for mega horsepower custom versions.
"Being all-wheel drive and perfectly balanced, Gallardos can take a lot of power. And the big 5.0-liter V-10 responds extremely well to turbocharging," says Kevin. The conversion starts with an enclosed big-rig rolling-up outside an owner's garage.
On the Lambo's arrival in Charlotte, work starts within 24 hours, with the engine removed and stripped for re-build. The conversion includes new, custom steel cylinder sleeves, along with billet rods and reverse dish pistons.
The turbo system is nothing less than a work of art. It includes twin 62mm Precision billet turbochargers with TiAL billet wastegates and blow-off valves and a custom air/water intercooler. Everything breathes and flows through mandrel-bent stainless piping finished to car show appearance levels.
"Most of our customers tell us they'd really prefer to run their cars without the rear bodywork because they love the look of the installation so much," says Kevin. Most conversions can be completed in six to eight weeks, and are backed by a free two-year, 24,000-mile warranty. Systems start around $35,000 and can run to $60,000-plus.
"The beauty of these cars is that they can be driven as daily drivers without any fuss. You just need to make sure the front wheels are pointed straight before you get into the boost," adds Kevin.