Volkswagen and Automobile Magazine now officially have the fastest ever recorded Beetle. Their Beetle LSR hit 205.122mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association 2016 World of Speed event.
"Exceeding 200 miles per hour in the Beetle LSR was a serious thrill," said driver Preston Lerner, a contributing Editor at Automobile Magazine. "We had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy. But seeing 208 miles per hour briefly on the digital readout was an experience I'll never forget."
To achieve that, the Beetle’s EA888 engine was modified by THR Manufacturing, out of Santa Paula, California, which fitted new turbochargers, pistons, camshafts, connecting rods, and modified the head. In all, they managed to make more than 600hp and 500lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft.
The interior was also stripped, and safety equipment added (rollcage, fire suppression, racing seat, etc.). Parachutes were also added to help slow the Beetle down.
“We are completely thrilled with the Beetle LSR’s performance at Bonneville,” said Dr. Hendrik Muth, Senior VP, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America. “The Beetle is not the most aerodynamic car in our portfolio, so running 205 mph is a testament to the power that can be made from the EA888 TSI four-cylinder engine. This feat truly underscores the sporty and pugnacious spirit of the Beetle.”