Volkswagen Jetta tears a new record into Bonneville salt
After experiencing a false start of sorts at Bonneville Speed Week last month, Volkswagen has now returned to the famous salt flats and gone home with a world record in tow. A modified 2019 Jetta zipped past the land speed record for its class, with the veteran racer at the wheel adamant that the hotted up sedan has even more to give.
Volkswagen has initially planned to bring its new Jetta to Bonneville Speed Week in August to partake in the 2-liter Blown Gas Coupe class. As reported by Jalaponik, the company chose to withdraw after encountering a "silly transmission issue" and set its sights on the smaller sister event instead, the Bonneville World of Speed.
And it was worth the wait, with salt flats veteran Scott Goetz bringing the Jetta to a track speed of 210.16 mph (338.15 km/h), outstripping the previous record for the class of 208.47 mph (225 km/h) set by John Hanson Sr. in 2016.
"Achieving this speed at Bonneville is a demonstration of the quality, durability, power, and efficiency of the Volkswagen TSI engine series and the stability and aerodynamic efficiency of the all-new 2019 Jetta," says Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "This record underlines the sporty credentials of our all-new Jetta and also gives a hint at the future of the GLI model, since this car uses a modified version of the GLI's powerful EA888, 2.0-liter TSI engine."
The direct injection, turbocharged Jetta was fitted with new rods, pistons, valves, camshaft and exhaust for a higher output of 600 hp (447 kW) at 8,500 rpm. Preparation for the salt flats also involved lowering the suspension, adding specialized wheels and tires and a new slip differential for improved traction. The interior was gutted and configured for racing with a roll cage, racing seat and harness, while a pair of parachutes was added to bring the high-speed car to a halt.
"It was a terrific experience to drive this car on the salt," says Goetz. "The car inspired a lot of confidence at very high speeds. I have no doubt that we could go even faster by running some more boost, but we are very happy to have the record, knowing that there is more to come in the car if we need it."