543 HP Beetle Sets 205mph Speed Record at Bonneville

Image credit: Auto Express
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Image credit: Auto Express

The Volkswagen Beetle hasn’t really been what you’d call a boy-racer’s car. Even in it’s highest spec, the Beetle doesn’t really offer much eye-opening performance or boasts crazy acceleration times and top speeds, it has hardly ever been a speed machine. Until now.

Volkswagen now has a factory-modified rocket called the Beetle LSR. With the LSR abbreviating Land Speed Record, there’s no doubting the motive behind the creation of the car. With that said, the name comes with a top speed of over 205mph!

At this point, you’re probably thinking: “But this can’t be a true Beetle. I bet apart from the shell, it’s not a Beetle at all.” Well, get this, the Beetle LSR is actually powered by the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI motor  you get in the standard models. But thanks to a tuning company in California called THR Manufacturing which gave the it a new turbo, new pistons, cams, connecting rods, and headers, the 2.0-litre four-pot in the Beetle LSR produces 543 HP (405 kW) and more than 420 lb-ft (570 Nm).

Image credit: Auto Express

Because of Land Speed regulations, this car still had to be a Beetle to qualify as…a Beetle. This means that Volkswagen had to keep additions to the Beetle LSR minimal. So you might get more features from the standard car than you’d expect.

The interior has been stripped out to accommodate a roll cage while the exterior has been given a few aerodynamic tweaks. The car also sits a bit lower to the ground thanks to the modified suspension, and a front air dam was added. Parachutes were also attached to the rear to improve the braking.

Although the Beetle LSR is making highlights with its 205.122mph average top speed over a standing mile, it actually got up to 208mph (335 km/h) at one point. The mad man behind the wheel, Preston Lerner, said: “We had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn’t been so sketchy. But seeing 208mph briefly on the digital readout was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Auto Express says the Beetle LSR broke the previous land speed record of 175mph (282km/h) for a Beetle which was set back in 1988.

Image credit: Auto Express

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