Think of the vehicles that you usually see setting world speed records, and it's safe to assume that the image of a high-velocity Volkswagen Jetta doesn't immediately jump into your mind. However, VW wants to change that perception because the automaker is preparing a 2019 Jetta to attempt for a title in the BGC/G class at Bonneville Speed Week in August. The sedan needs to go quicker than 208.472 miles per hour (335.5 kilometers per hour) to claim the title.
THR Manufacturing in California is handling the Bonneville Jetta build. The firm lowers the sedan's suspension so that it practically scrapes the ground. The company also installs a limited-slip differential to aid traction on the salt. Skinny tires mean there's less rolling resistance, too. To slow down, the driver can activate a pair of rear-mounted parachutes. Inside, the Jetta is completely stripped out, except for a roll cage and racing seat.
The Bonneville Jetta retains its EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Modifications will pump up the output, but VW won't yet go into details what the changes will be. The output will likely be a whole lot more than stock.
Currently, the Jetta is only available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower (109 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (249 Newton-meters) of torque. However, the EA888 2.0-liter will be available in the upcoming Jetta GLI where it will reportedly make the same numbers as the version in the GTI with 220 hp (164 kW) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. Buyers will be able to select from a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The sedan will also switch to a multi-link independent rear suspension rather than the torsion-beam setup on the standard model.
VWs aren't strangers to the Bonneville salt. In 2016, VW worked with THR Manufacturing to build an EA888-powered Beetle with 543 hp (405 kW) that reached 205.122 mph (330.111 kph). In 2012, the German automaker prepped a Jetta Hybrid that earned a class speed record of 186.313 mph (299.842 kph) there. While the car didn't set a record, a rocket-powered Beetle crashed there doing 183 mph (295 kph), and the company that built the powertrain used a photo of the wrecked machine in its advertising.
Gallery: Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville
VOLKSWAGEN PREPARES ALL-NEW 2019 JETTA FOR BONNEVILLE SPEED
All-new Jetta is the basis for the Bonneville Jetta, which uses a 2.0-liter TSI® turbocharged fourcylinder
engine for an assault on the BGC/G record at Bonneville Speed Week in August
Herndon, VA(June 22nd, 2018) – Volkswagen of America, Inc., announced today that it has prepared a
specially-tuned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to attempt the Southern California Timing Association’s BGC/G class
record at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, over August 11-17, 2018. The Bonneville Jetta
will be powered by a modified version of Volkswagen’s EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct injection fourcylinder
Built by Bonneville preparation specialists THR Manufacturing, based in Ventura, Calif., the Jetta previews the
powertrain that will be used in the forthcoming Jetta GLI performance model. Volkswagen is hopeful that it
can beat the existing class record of 208.472 mph, showcasing both the potential performance thatthe EA888
engine can achieve with modifications, and the all-new Jetta’s exceptionally aerodynamic shape, which yields
a drag coefficient of just 0.27.
“We are delighted with the reception for the all-new 2019 Jetta in North America,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken,
CEO of the North AmericaRegion, Volkswagen. “With the attempt on the Bonneville speed record with the
Jetta, we want to underline the Jetta’s sporty credentials and get customers excited for the more
performance-oriented Jetta GLI on the way.”
To run at high speed on the salt, the Bonneville Jetta has had many other changes from stock. The suspension
has been lowered, special Salt Flat wheels and tires fitted, and a limited-slip differential added to aid traction.
The interior has been stripped and outfitted with full safety equipment—such as a roll cage, racing seat and
harness—and a fire suppression system. To help slow the car down, the Bonneville Jetta has been fitted with a
pair of parachutes.
Media Information VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC
2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive
Herndon, Virginia 20171
The Bonneville Jetta’s graphic treatment was the work of Volkswagen’s Southern California Design Center.
“This was a truly fun project to be involved in,” said Reto Brun, Director, Volkswagen Design Center California.
“We wanted to highlight the sporty nature of the Jetta and give the car design graphics that would make it
really stand out on the alien-like environment of the Bonneville Salt Flats. We wish the team luck as they
attempt to make this the fastest Jetta—and the fastest production-based Volkswagen—ever seen!”
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
(VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in
Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and
vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and
its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the
world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Atlas, Beetle,
Beetle Convertible, e-Golf, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and
Tiguan Limited vehicles through more than 650 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online
at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.
This press release and images of the Jetta LSR are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews.
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Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other
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