Here's The Crazy 2019 Jetta That Volkswagen Is Taking To The Bonneville Salt Flats

All photos credit Volkswagen.

One of the most amusing things about land speed racing is that there seems to be records for everything. Now Volkswagen wants their very own record in Bonneville’s G/BGC class, so they’re bringing a brand new 2019 Jetta to the salt flats to make that happen.

(Full disclosure: I’m VW’s guest for Pikes Peak, where they’re unveiling this car. VW paid for travel, lodging and food.)


THR Manufacturing prepared and tuned the car for the salt. The Jetta’s E888 2.0-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection inline four engine is a preview of what will be coming in the GLI performance trim of the car, but in this case, it has been lightly modified for race duty.

The car itself has a drag coefficient of just 0.27, which Volkswagen hopes to showcase by beating the top speed of 208.472 mph in this G/BGC class. This version of the Jetta has been made to be more aerodynamic by THR, thanks to its lowered suspension and special-made wheels and tires.

A limited-slip differential was added to maximize traction, and the interior was stripped out to add all of the safety gear needed for racing.


Volkswagen hopes that this car will showcase what a few mods can do to the Volkswagen, despite a disclaimer at the bottom of their press release stating, “Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other standards.” It’s a risk!

Regardless, I love how cool this looks compared to the rental-spec Jettas I’m used to seeing in the wild. The race happens near Wendover, Utah, on August 11-17, but Volkswagen plans to unveil the car itself at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s Fan Fest this Friday.


Correction [6/23]: Earlier versions of this article included a typo on the class name which has since been fixed.

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Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.