After it managed a fantastic time on the Pikes Peak hill climb with the ID R concept, Volkswagen aims for another record. Between 11 and 17 August, Volkswagen of America will be aiming to break the land speed record in the BGC/G class of the Southern California Timing Association on Lake Bonneville – the salt flats in the US state of Utah – with its specially prepared but near-production version of the new- generation Jetta.
This Volkswagen is powered by a four-cylinder turbo engine (TSI) from the EA888 engine family with a power output of significantly more than 500 PS. A similar engine with a slightly more demure power rating will also be used in the new Jetta GLI, which will soon be taking off in the US.
The record-breaking car can reach a speed of more than 335 km/h as it is very light (the interior comprises only the controls for driving, a bucket seat with racing belts and a roll cage) and has excellent aerodynamics (Cd value: 0.27).
The Jetta, developed by Volkswagen of America in cooperation with the Bonneville specialists at THR Manufacturing in Ventura, California, has further technical refinements on board: in addition to a very low chassis, these include special salt flats wheels and tyres, a limited slip differential for optimum grip and two brake parachutes in the rear end. The specially developed Bonneville graphics on the body were contributed by Volkswagen’s Southern California Design Center.
If the attempt succeeds, this Jetta will be the fastest near-production Volkswagen ever to be put on wheels. This record is currently held by a 399 kW / 543 PS Beetle LSR, which – also powered by an EA888 engine – reached a speed of 205.122 mph (330.11 km/h) on Lake Bonneville.