Your average VW Beetle is not going to come anywhere close to 200 miles (320km/h) per hour. Porsche 911 Turbo, sure, but not a Beetle. Yet that’s precisely what this one did.
Specially modified for the purpose and with Automobile mag’s Preston Lerner behind the wheel, this Volkswagen Beetle LSR achieved a top speed of 205.122 mph over the course of a flying mile on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. That makes this the world’s fastest Beetle.
To get there, VW contracted THR Manufacturing of Santa Paula, California, to rebuild the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. THR fitted new turbochargers, pistons, cams, connecting rods, and headers, to produce over 600 horsepower and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque at the crank – or 543 hp and 421 lb-ft at the wheel. That’s well more than double what the engine produces in stock form.
VW also lowered the suspension, replaced the rolling stock with special wheels and tires, installed a limited-slip differential, stripped the interior, and fitted a roll cage, racing seat with harness, fire suppression system, and a pair of parachutes.
The result is far from showroom stock, but just goes to show that if you can get a Beetle to go 200 mph, you can do it with just about anything.