Hopefully, it will make a record run next month.
Last week, we saw something we thought we would never see: a Volkswagen Jetta with nearly 500 horsepower on tap. You can’t buy it, however, because it’s a one-off car built with the sole purpose of setting a new land speed record at the Bonneville Lake salt flats. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan.
The modified Jetta was supposed to compete in the 2-liter Blown Gas Coupe class last week to attempt the record, but Jalopnik noticed the car was nowhere to be seen in the paddocks at Bonneville Speed Week. Volkswagen subsequently confirmed a transmission issue with the Jetta meant the record attempt had to be cancelled.
“We had a silly transmission issue on the first dyno run and while it got fixed, it meant we were behind on the program,” Volkswagen said in an email to Jalopnik. “Instead of making the team work 18 hour days, we decided to give this one a miss and go back in September.”
This means Volkswagen will now attempt the record during the Bonneville World of Speed, which is a smaller event than Bonneville Speed Week. The current record in the 2-liter Blown Gas Coupe category currently stands at 208.472 mph, but Volkswagen is confident it can beat it. Built in collaboration with Volkswagen of America and California-based specialists THR Manufacturing, the car is based on the upcoming Jetta GLI.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 493 hp, enabling the sedan to hit a top speed of over 208 mph and, in theory, claim the record. To make the car as slippery as possible, Volkswagen has fitted wheel covers and lowered the ride height. As a result, the Jetta has a drag coefficient of just 0.27. The interior has also been stripped out to make the car as light as possible, while a bright blue and white livery further distinguishes it from the standard road car.