Volkswagen will be attending this year’s Bonneville Speed Week with a specially modified Jetta which will attempt to set a new speed record in the BGC/G class.
Since the standard Jetta isn’t exactly a speed demon, the car has been extensively modified. Starting with the exterior, the Jetta features a unique wrap, a reduced ride height and aerodynamic wheels fitted with special Goodyear tires. The model has also a quick release hood and two parachutes.
Bigger changes occur in the cabin as virtually everything except the dashboard and center console has been removed. Technicians then installed a roll cage, a racing seat and a new steering wheel. The car also has a revised shifter, a new digital display and a fire suppression system.
Volkswagen was coy on technical specifications but said the model uses a modified version of the company’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EA888 engine. It previews the powertrain that will be used in the Jetta GLI and Volkswagen believes it will enable the car to hit a top speed in excess of 208.472 mph (335.503 km/h). The upcoming Jetta GLI won’t be nearly that fast but the company said racer will showcase the “potential performance that the EA888 engine can achieve with modifications.”
The one-off Jetta was built by THR Manufacturing and Volkswagen confirmed the model has a limited-slip differential to help with traction on the salt flats.
The record breaking attempt will occur next month and Volkswagen’s CEO of the North America Region, Hinrich J. Woebcken, said “We are delighted with the reception for the all-new 2019 Jetta in North America. 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.”
In the meantime, buyers can pick up the standard Jetta which starts at $18,545. It features a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 hp (109 kW / 149 PS) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque.