Averaging 186.313 mph (299.842 km/h) over two runs, a specially-modified Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid has set a Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) H/PS land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Aside from beating its previous record by 18.8 mph (30.3 km/h), the car averaged 187.147 mph (301.184 km/h) in the last mile of the second run, which is the fastest run recorded in Bonneville by a hybrid.
The production Jetta Hyrbird had a 1.4 liter TSI that works with an electric motor to give a combined 170 hp and 249 Nm of torque, but the Jetta Hybrid LSR, the car used to break the land speed record,had been conditioned by Wolfsburg’s R&D team to give “somewhere around 300 hp” with drive train undertaken by the engineers at Volkswagen Test Centre California.
Following SCTA’s strict guidelines, the suspension was lowered, special salt-running wheels and tires were fitted, and the stripped-out interior carries a roll cage, racing seat, harness, and a full fire suppression system.
“This was a fascinating project for our engineering team in Wolfsburg, who had to intergrate the complex hybrid elements and generate a lot of additional power in a very short period of time in order to take the record,” said VW Test Centre California executive vice president Marc Trahan. “The Jetta Hybrid LSR project shows both the sporty nature of our hybrid offering and the technical excellence of our engineers in Wolfsburg and the Test Centre California,” he added