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Winged Warfare: Singer DLS Turbo Vs. HWA Evo

In this ultimate restomod battle, find out ifHWA's take on the legendary 190 EVO II can outmuscle the Singer DLS

by Amrit Balraj on July 4, 2024, 08:00

Restomods are all the rage these days, i.e. modern reimaginations of legendary classic cars. However, HWA Chief Engineer Gordian von Schöning insists that their Evo II is "not a resto-mod". HWA was founded by Hans-Werner Aufrecht in 1998, who was also one of the founders of AMG, now under the ownership of Mercedes-Benz. HWA, who have been in the game for a long time now (since 1998) reimagined the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II from the ground up. The HWA Evo II features a lengthened wheelbase for increased stability and a wider track for superior grip. Crafted from lightweight carbon fiber, its custom bodywork conceals an equally impressive powertrain.

Across the pond in sunny California, Singer is a relatively newer company, started in 2009 by Rob Dickinson. The name Singer pays homage to Porsche engineer Norbert Singer, as well as a nod to Rob Dickinson’s past career as a vocalist for Catherine Wheel, a British rock band from the 90s. The Singer DLS is a tribute to the dominant Porsche 934/5 IMSA racecar from the 1970s. Singer asks classic Porsche model owners a single question “What if the DNA of this iconic sports car was reimagined for the twenty-first century?” Their projects are exquisite reimaginations of classic Porsches which they call "Studies", which is where the DLS name comes from - Dynamic and Lightweight Study. Since both cars cater to a niche market of enthusiasts who appreciate the blend of vintage design and cutting-edge performance, we feel they are worth comparing. There are two versions of the DLS Turbo, and we will be focussing on the blood orange, track-centric variant and how it stacks up against the HWA Evo.

Both Brands Follow Their Own Creative Processes

Winged Warfare: Singer DLS Turbo Vs. HWA Evo storyboard - image 184141

As a starting point, HWA utilizes a stock 190E, Mercedes Benz made nearly 1.8 million of them, so there is no shortage of donor bodies. They then reinforce the car’s core steel structure and attach custom-made aluminum subframes to both ends, lengthening the wheelbase by 3.2 inches, the front axle is relocated 2.0 inches forward relative to the cowl compared to the original EVO II, while the rear axle is set back 1.2 inches. Finally, the car is adorned with a lightweight, structural carbon fiber body that takes the iconic lines of the original Evo II to the next level.

Edgar Chu, Chief Design Officer at Revautodesign, who previously worked at Nissan and AMG, has worked his magic to subtly modernize the exterior of the HWA EVO. Carbon fiber takes center stage, replacing everything but the window surrounds. The car’s width is undeniably more imposing, boasting a full 9.0 inches over the original EVO II. This translates to wider tracks, muscular fenders, and door skins extending further outward. The hood stretches out for a more streamlined look, while the trunk lid receives a reshaping to integrate seamlessly with the broader rear fenders. Aerodynamic elements get a refresh too. The front splitter adopts a less overtly race-inspired design, but the overall stance remains aggressively angled.

Coming to the resto-mod Porsche, most Singer projects begin when a client reaches out to them with their classic Porsches from the 964 generation. However, sometimes they undertake projects on their own as well, usually trying out a new design or concept. The Singer DLS Turbo draws inspiration from the Porsche 934/5 race car, which famously won 6 out of 8 Trans Am Races in the 1977 season. Unlike Singer’s restrained "Classic" and "Turbo Study," the DLS Turbo cuts a more aggressive figure. Its exhaust exits peek out from the rear bumper, flanked by wider wheel arches. The front features a more pronounced bumper and a splitter for enhanced aerodynamics. Functional rear air intakes hint at the car’s power, and a towering rear wing dwarfs everything on the road. If the rear wings seem a bit too much for daily life, owners are presented with the option to swap it out for a more understated ducktail spoiler.

The Singer DLS Has Finally Met Its Match With The HWA Evo

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When it comes to performance, HWA’s powertrain delivers 450 horsepower in standard form, with an optional "Affalterbach" performance pack bumping that up to 500 horsepower. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 under the hood comes from the AMG E 53 and S 350, but with added HWA flavor which means a custom ECU, a dry sump oil system, and a more efficient intercooler. The car doesn’t come with paddle shifters, with the only option being a 6-speed manual gearbox sending power to the rear wheels.

The new DLS Turbo ditches the naturally-aspirated approach for a twin-turbocharged twist on their existing 3.8-liter, Formula One-developed flat-six (courtesy of Williams). This unleashes a mind-blowing 700 horsepower – a 110 horsepower jump over the single-turbo engine of the Porsche 934/5. The only transmission on offer is a 6-speed manual.

Singer DLS Turbo HWA Evo
Engine Twin turbocharged 3.8-Liter Flat-Six Twin Turbo 3.0-Liter V6
Horsepower 700 horsepower 450 HP (500 HP With Affalterbach performance pack)
Torque NA 405 lb-ft
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual
Drivetrain RWD RWD
0-60 MPH NA NA
Top Speed 210 MPH 169 MPH(189 MPH with Affalterbach Performance)
Weight 2182 lbs 2998 lbs
Price $ 3,00,0000 (Estimated) $770,000
Winged Warfare: Singer DLS Turbo Vs. HWA Evo storyboard - image 183783

HWA engineers haven’t skimped on stopping power. They’ve developed a custom ESP system that integrates seamlessly with the car’s massive brakes. Up front, six-piston calipers clamp down on 15-inch discs, while four-piston calipers grab hold of 14-inch discs in the rear. These impressive stoppers nestle behind the lightweight 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged alloy wheels, available in two distinctive styles. And for those who demand even more stopping muscle, a ceramic brake package is also available.

Only 100 units will roll off the production line in Affalterbach, Germany, with a car emerging each week in 2026 and 2027. Despite a hefty price tag starting around $770,000 before taxes, 75 cars have already been snatched up by eager collectors. The rapid sell-out of these stratospheric-priced machines underscores the unwavering passion for bespoke builds. With looks that could melt glaciers and performance that pushes boundaries, it’s safe to say this market isn’t going anywhere soon.

Winged Warfare: Singer DLS Turbo Vs. HWA Evo storyboard - image 183781

German wheel masters BBS equip the DLS with lightweight, forged magnesium wheels. These beauties come in 19 inches up front and 20 inches at the rear, both wrapped in Michelin’s grippy Pilot Sport Cup 2 or the even more track-focused Cup 2R tires. Singer’s magic touch with the 911 continues. After transforming 75 964-generation cars into their acclaimed DLS, they’re raising the bar with a limited run of 99 DLS Turbos.

While pricing remains under wraps, considering the original DLS from 2018 hovered around a cool $2 million, expect the turbocharged iteration to eclipse that mark. But the price tag is likely a mere detail. Singer’s creations consistently spark insatiable demand, and the DLS Turbo promises to be their most coveted masterpiece yet, whipping car enthusiasts into a frenzy. The DLS Turbo is expected to be delivered sometime in 2026.

Amrit Balraj

Amrit Balraj

Features Writer Read full bio