Volkswagen is looking to set a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats using a tricked out, next-gen Jetta GLI.
VW is on a tear, sucking up speed records like there ain’t no tomorrow. After setting the fastest time at Pikes Peak earlier in June with their I.D.R. Electric racer, the German automaker is now setting their sights to Utah where they’ll set yet another record at Lake Bonneville.
From August 11th to 17th, VW will take part in Speed Week, an annual event hosted by the Southern California Timing Association and Bonneville Nationals Inc. On the Bonneville Speedway, an area of the salt flats specifically maintained for driving, VW will attempt to beat the land speed record for the BGC/G class using a customized 2019 Jetta GLI.
They call it the Volkswagen Bonneville Jetta.
The speed to beat in this class is 208 mph, which Volkswagen says their fancy Jetta should be able to handle easily. Powered by a 2.0-L turbocharged EA888 family 4-cylinder engine, the Bonneville Jetta will have "significantly more than" 493 hp.
Volkswagen doesn’t say just how much more power, or just how fast their Jetta can go, but they do say that it should be able to achieve speeds well in excess of 208 mph.
Besides the sport-tuned engine, the Bonneville Jetta comes with a number of other modifications. For lightness, the entire interior has been ripped out and replaced with a roll cage. The single seat is made of carbon fiber and is fitted with a 5-point racing harness to keep the speeding driver safe should the salts prove slippery.
THR Manufacturing played a hand in some of these mods, including the Jetta’s lowered suspension and specially-made wheels and tires to handle the salt flats. You’ll note the complete lack of gaps in the wheels to prevent any salt from flying through.
There’s also a limited slip diff and a set of parachutes in the back along with the fancy Bonneville graphics.
VW’s upcoming Jetta GLI will have nowhere near as much power, and is expected to have something in the same range as the Golf GTI--that being around 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.