The World's Fastest Volkswagen Beetle Just Went 205.122 MPH

Photos credit: Volkswagen

Beetles are known for being many things, but fast typically isn’t one of them. This new Beetle, dubbed the “Beetle LSR” for “land speed record” just went out to shatter that perception. It got up to a blistering 205.122 mph during Bonneville Speed Week this year.

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The Beetle LSR is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder engine from a 2014 Beetle Turbo R-Line, massaged by THR Manufacturing up from its stock 210 horsepower to 543 hp and 421 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. THR added new turbochargers, connecting rods, camshafts, pistons and custom head work to make the super-powered Beetle come alive, according to a Volkswagen press release.

The car sits on lowered suspension and more aerodynamic wheels fitted with racing tires, per Volkswagen. An air dam was added in the front to prevent the car’s front end from lifting up at speed. Last but not least, a limited-slip differential was added to help the car put all of its extra power down to the salt.

Inside, the interior was stripped and prepared for racing, with all the appropriate safety gear needed for a high-speed run. Parachutes were installed on the car’s trunk to help slow the car down after runs as well.

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Automobile contributing editor Preston Lerner was behind the wheel for the high-speed runs. At one point, Lerner told Volkswagen that the Beetle reached 208 mph. However, the record itself is set as the top speed run over a flying mile.

For the longest time, a 1955 Beetle held the “World’s Fastest Beetle” title after reaching almost 175 mph in 1988, per CNN. Aircoolers, the gauntlet has been thrown. You have a New Beetle to defeat. Go forth and modify, my friends.

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About the author

Stef Schrader

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