Volkswagen Modified a Beetle to Get Porsche-Like Speed
A Volkswagen Beetle achieved a top speed of more than 205mph during a proving run in Utah this week. It's now officially the fastest Beetle ever, but you can't buy it.
That's because nearly everything on the car, from the suspension to the engine, is highly modified. In order for the engine to deliver enough power to break 200mph, an aftermarket tuning company added new turbochargers, pistons, camshafts and connecting rods. The interior was also stripped out to make room for a roll cage, a racing driver's seat and a pair of parachutes for braking.
The record-shattering run took place at the Bonneville Salt Flats, which has a long history as a proving ground for setting land speed records. Its slick surface required the Beetle to be outfitted with special wheels and a limited-slip differential to boost traction.
"We had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy," driver Preston Lerner said in a statement.
Volkswagen Senior Vice President Hendrick Muth admitted that "the Beetle is not the most aerodynamic car in our portfolio, so running 205mph is a testament to the power that can be made from the EA888 TSI four-cylinder engine."
Even though the record-setting car isn't for sale, Volkswagen offers something close if you really want a fast Beetle. The Beetle R-Line has 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, which let it accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 6.6 seconds. That's not Ferrari-fast, but it is impressive for a car with such humble origins.