This isn’t your dads Volkswagen Jetta, kids

Hot on the wheels of the Volkswagen I.D. R’s record-breaking run at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Volkswagen is setting its sights on a new record, this time at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. As part of its goal of breaking the Southern California Timing Association’s BGC/G class record, the German automaker is preparing a heavily modified version of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Among the upgrades that will be included is a heavily modified version of VW’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged, EA888 four-cylinder engine.

What Makes the Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car Special?

2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car
- image 784538
Volkswagen tapped Bonneville preparation specialists THR Manufacturing to build the car to ensure that it’s up to the task of beating the existing class record of 208.472 mph.

Apart from the weird livery that was designed by Volkswagen’s own design studio, the lack of side mirrors, the skinny tires, and the presence of a pair of actual rear-mounted parachutes, this looks exactly like a standard Volkswagen Jetta. All jokes aside, the Bonneville Jetta underwent serious exterior and interior modifications for the singular purpose of making it as light as it can be. That’s why Volkswagen didn’t leave anything to chance with this car. It even tapped Bonneville preparation specialists THR Manufacturing to build the car to ensure that it’s up to the task of beating the existing class record of 208.472 mph.

In order to achieve that, a lot of work was also done to the Jetta. Actually, the “work” involved stripping almost every part of the interior except for the equipment that’s needed to actually make the car run, let alone reach 209 mph. It still has a steering wheel, a racing seat, a dashboard, and a transmission box. Oh, at the back, there’s nothing but a roll cage for obvious reasons. A fire suppression system was also installed for safety reasons.

2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car
- image 784539
It still has a steering wheel, a racing seat, a dashboard, and a transmission box

Under its hood, the Bonneville Jetta comes with a modified version of Volkswagen’s EA888n 2.0-liter, turbocharged and direct injection, four-cylinder engine. There’s no set amount of power announced, but considering that its sole aim is to go really fast, there’s a good chance that it’s going to have a lot more than the usual 300-horsepower output attributed to this specific engine. In fact, the engine is capable of producing 395 horsepower, as Volkswagen showed in the Volkswagen R400, a concept car based on the VW Golf R.

The Bonneville Jetta is scheduled to make its world-record attempt in the week of August 11 to 17 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. With around seven weeks left before go time, expect Volkswagen and all of its partners in this attempt to be all-hands-on-deck in continuing the development of the car. A lot of people are clearly hoping for the best, including Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen’s North America Region operation. “We are delighted with the reception for the all-new 2019 Jetta in North America,” Woebcken said. “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.”

2018 Volkswagen Jetta Bonneville Salt Flats Record Car
- image 784537
The Bonneville Jetta is scheduled to make its world-record attempt in the week of August 11 to 17 at the Bonneville Salt Flats

If the Bonneville Jetta ends up breaking the record that was set by John Hanson Jr. back in September 2016, it won’t need to tell the world about what the Jetta’s sporty credentials are. All it needs is to show video of the record run, and that’s all everybody is going to want to see.

Further reading

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
- image 760099
Massive grille

Read our full review on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.

no article
- image 744354

Read more Volkswagen news.

Press release

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 four-cylinder engine.

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 that the 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 America Region, 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.

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!”

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: