The Volkswagen Beetle LSR has set the record as the world's fastest Volkswagen Beetle, at the Bonneville Salt Flats
20 September 2016

The world's fastest Volkswagen Beetle set a new land speed record at the World of Speed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, America, last week.

During the record attempt on 12 September the Beetle reached an average of 205mph across a one-mile stretch – with a maximum of 208mph achieved.

Read our full review of the Volkswagen Beetle here

The car features the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder powertrain as the 2014 Turbo R-Line model, but it has had a complete overhaul to boost power from 210bhp to 543bhp, with a peak torque of 421lb ft.

Labelled the Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record), the car was modified by California’s THR Manufacturing. The car has uprated turbochargers and pistons, as well as other changes including modified suspension for a lower stance and a front air dam to help control air flow. 

Get our list of the fastest cars in the world here

Modifications need to be in line with official speed record rules, so extensive changes to the exterior allowing for more aerodynamics were not permitted. The Beetle was also equipped with special wheels, complete with high-speed racing profile tyres that were suitable for driving on salt.

A limited-slip differential was also used to improve traction, while a safety package provided the necessary driver protection, including a roll cage, a new racing bucket seat with five-point harness and a fire extinguishing system.

The fastest-accelerating cars in the world have been ranked here

The record-setting car also had two brake parachutes that were used to slow down the Beetle.

The record was officially recorded at the event sponsored by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA), and was set with  Automobile Magazine's contributing editor, Preston Lerner, at the wheel. 

Danni Bagnall

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is only the third all-new model since the original launched in 1938. It is based on the Mk6 Golf, but the base car is far better

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21 September 2016
Looks at great modern interpretation of the air cooled cal look bugs. More modern cars should be treated to a set of moon discs.

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