This year Volkswagen entered the specially tuned Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record) in the World of Speed event on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It set a new record for the Beetle, reaching a speed of 205.122 mph (328.195 km/h) over a flying mile.
To meet the challenges of the event in the Great Salt Lake Desert, the Beetle LSR was extensively upgraded and modified to comply with the rules for land speed records on the salt flats. The power of the 2.0 litre turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) engine was boosted to 405 kW/550 hp, with torque of 571 Nm, thanks to a new turbocharger, different pistons, camshafts and conrods, and cylinder head modifications. To ensure transfer of that power to the road surface, a limited-slip differential was used to improve the traction of the record-setting vehicle with its lowered suspension. Volkswagen equipped the Beetle with wheels and tyres designed for the extreme conditions of the salt flats. It goes without saying that the Beetle was also fitted with sophisticated safety equipment consisting of a rollover cage, a racing seat together with a five-point harness and a fire suppression system. In addition, extra braking efficiency was provided by two brake parachutes.
The speed was officially recorded by the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA), which hosted the World of Speed. The multi-day event is held every year in midsummer on the salt flats to the west of Salt Lake City in Utah (USA). The spectacular landscape and extreme racing conditions in the Great Salt Lake Desert make it one of the most popular events among drivers and speed enthusiasts across the world.