A specially-prepared Volkswagen Beetle has driven at speeds above 200mph for over one mile at the Bonneville Salt Flats, making it the fastest Beetle in the world
Volkswagen has taken a specially-tuned Beetle to the Bonneville Salt Flats, and taken the LSR – short for Land Speed Record – to a top speed of 328.195km/h (205.122mph). This makes it the fastest speed ever recorded for a Beetle in the world.
The Beetle was far from standard, with more than 540bhp squeezed out of the existing 2.0-litre TSI engine. A number of engine modifications helped to raise power, including a modified cylinder head, camshafts, pistons and con rods – along with a huge turbocharger.
Taking place on Bonneville Salt Flats, the dried out lake bed makes perfect proving ground, and it is used for a lot of record attempts each year. To perform well on the salt, the LSR was fitted with a number of other modifications, including special wheels and tyres, as well as a limited slip differential to help with traction – a big issue on the Flats.
To hit the high top speed, the Beetle needed to be lowered to reduce drag, while the huge double parachutes on the back was part of the the significant safety package. This also included a full roll cage, racing seat and five point harness along with a full fire extinguisher system.
Volkswagen isn’t the only manufacturer to enjoy success at Bonneville. Earlier this year, Renault took a class record with a classic Dauphine – celebrating 60 years of the model in the USA – while Skoda attempted a similar record in the Octavia vRS managing an even more impressive 227mph.