Motor Trend's Carlos Lago took on Bonneville and won.
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid has been confirmed as the fastest production-based hybrid on the planet. Driven by Motor Trend's test editor Carlos Lago, the Jetta Hybrid hit an impressive speed of 185.394 mph (298.363km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Nevada. The record-setting run came during the Southern California Timing Association's annual Speed Week. The 2013 Jetta is part of VW's Think Blue strategy of eco-friendly mobility.
It features a 150-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder TSI gasoline engine paired to a 27hp electric motor. To reach the record numbers, Volkswagen's research and development plant in Wolfsburg, Germany modified the powertrain while A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering from California lent their expertise on driving on the famed Salt Flats. The VW Test Center in California calibrated the drivetrain for the record run. "We are really proud that our new Jetta Hybrid is the world's fastest hybrid," said Marc Trahan, VW Executive Vice President of Group Quality.
Trahan continued: "It was a real challenge to integrate the complex hybrid elements and generate the power needed to run at these speeds. The Jetta Hybrid Land Speed Record project shows both the sporty nature of our Hybrid offering and the technical excellence of our engineers in Wolfsburg and in the Test Center California." Volkswagen has plans to return to the Bonneville Salt Flats at a later date to try and set an even higher top speed in their 2013 Jetta Hybrid. Still, 185mph is a feat worth celebrating in and of itself.