• The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Earns a Land Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Well-earned congralutations goes to Volkswagen and THR Manufacturing

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has entered the record books after setting the land speed record for its class and displacement at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Jetta set the record with a run that reached 210.16 mph, breaking the previous record of 208.472 mph. The achievement didn’t come with its share of problems, but ultimately, Volkswagen and the team behind this particular Jetta, THR Manufacturing, managed to troubleshoot their way into the record books, putting a successful lid on an attempt that was months in the making.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Hit 210.16 MPH

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Earns a Land Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats
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Volkswagen’s been cashing in on record-breaking feats this year. We first got wind of this attempt back in June shortly after the German automaker stormed the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and laid waste to the event’s overall record with the I.D. Pikes Peak racer. From there, Volkswagen turned its attention to the Southern California Timing Association’s BGC/G class record.

Together with THR Manufacturing, the German brand created a heavily modified Jetta with the singular purpose of unleashing it at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The 600-horsepower bare-as-bones Jetta — it doesn’t have side mirrors, has skinny tires, and carries a pair of rear-mounted parachutes — was initially scheduled to run at Bonneville Speed Week a few months ago. But after realizing that the car still wasn’t ready for prime time, Volkswagen and THR Manufacturing held off on the attempt, opting instead to roll it out at the Bonneville World of Speed, which occurred over the weekend.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Earns a Land Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats
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That decision turned up aces for all parties involved as the Jetta stormed the event and posted a record speed of 210.16 mph.

The record-setting run happened under ideal conditions, which, according to driver Scott Goetz, meant that the salt at the Flats was hard and dry. “The conditions are the best they’ve been in a long time. A long time,” Goetz added.

As easy as the record-setting run looked, the team did have bumpy moments over the weekend, including an issue with the car’s power, which, at one point, got cut for no reason. After careful investigation, it turned out that the car’s spark plugs were getting messed up by the race fuel the team was using. The team went to fix the issue in time for the car to take a stab at the 208.472 mph record. Fortunately, the team was able to get the Jetta up to 209 mph before putting in another run that saw the racer break the record.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Earns a Land Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats
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Hinrich Woebcken, president and CEO of VolkswagenGroup of America, was on-hand for the event and wasted little time basking in the Jetta’s successful record-setting run. “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,” he said. “This record underlines the sporty credentials of our all-new Jetta and 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.”

Further reading

2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
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Massive grille

Read our full review on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.

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Read more Volkswagen news.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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