Volkswagen’s new Jetta salt racer has achieved speeds of over 210 mph and broken the previous record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
When we last heard from Volkswagen last month, they were hard at work modifying their next-gen Jetta GLI into a speed machine that could handle the harsh conditions of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With the help of Salt Flat specialists THR Manufacturing of Ventura California, the 2019 Jetta went from being an everyday road car into a true salt racer capable of achieving speeds thus far unknown to Jetta-kind.
Step one was to achieve incredible power from the Jetta’s EA888 engine. The 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder went from being a kitten to a real lion, achieving power ratings of 600 ponies at 8,500 RPM when it was dyno'd. Next was to lighten the car by stripping out everything but a roll cage and racing seat with a 6-point harness.
Next came the mechanical upgrades, including a limited-slip differential in the rear and a pair of brake parachutes to get the Jetta to stop after its record attempts. Protective gear was also installed, such as a lower front bumper and specially designed rims that kept salt from corroding the brakes. The suspension was lowered and plates were installed to the Jetta’s undercarriage.
Once all was said and done, VW took their new salty baby to Bonneville for the record attempt. And the Jetta did not fail to impress.
With veteran Salt Flats racer Scott Goetz behind the wheel, the Jetta achieved a speed of 210.16 mph, beating out the previous record of 208 mph in the Blown Gas Coupe (G/BGC) class. VW joined in with other salt racers at Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s (USFRA) World of Speed event to celebrate their victory and the stark beauty of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
We expect to hear more from Volkswagen about their new Jetta in the coming months now that they’ve got their record-winning run out of the way. Expect the regular Jetta to get somewhere near 220 hp.