And we all thought the little
fellow could not go very fast! A specially-tuned Volkswagen Beetle has set a
new speed record at the World of Speed event that has long been a tradition at
Lake Bonneville in Utah (USA). The Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record) with a
turbocharged 2.0-litre direct-injection engine (TSI) drove the fastest speed
ever documented for a Beetle, reaching 328.195 km/h over a distance of one
In order to reach top speeds
well over 300 km/h, many aspects of the Beetle LSR were reworked, and the car
was modified to conform to regulations for record drives on salt flats. The
output of the 2.0-litre TSI was boosted to a peak power of 542hp (by changes
that included a new turbocharger, different pistons, camshafts, connecting rods
and cylinder head modifications). The record-setting vehicle also stands out
with an impressive torque of 571 Newton metres.
To perform well under extreme
conditions, the Beetle was equipped with special wheels and tyres for driving
on salt, and the body was lowered significantly. A limited-slip differential was
also used to improve traction, while a safety package provided for the
necessary protection; it consisted of a rollover protection cage, a race seat
with five-point harness and a fire extinguishing system. In addition, the
record-setting car had two brake parachutes that were also used to slow down
The performance was officially
recorded at the driving record event sponsored by the Utah Salt Flats Racing
Association (USFRA), which is held every year in mid-summer.
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