As if it weren’t enough to set a land speed record at Bonneville in August, VW’s Jetta Hybrid LSR returned to the famous salt flats in October to best its own record of 185.394 mph with a new 187.147 mph achievement. And who thought four-cylinder engines couldn’t boogie?
The Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) H/PS land speed record fell to a specially-prepped 2013 Jetta Hybrid powered by this model’s turbocharged and direct-injected 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine and electric motor. In this case, the powerplant was modified by Volkswagen R&D to about 300 horsepower.
SCTA’s production-car class also allows other strictly-controlled modifications, which enabled the Jetta Hybrid to run with special salt flat wheels and tires and lowered suspension. It also featured a stripped interior outfitted with a racing seat and harness, roll cage, and fire suppression system.
A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering handled project integration and other modifications, with implementation and final drivetrain calibration supported by the new Volkswagen Test Center in Oxnard, California. The car was piloted to its record runs by Motor Trend associate road test editor Carlos Lago.