After blasting down the Bonneville Salt Flats at 185 miles per hour, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is now the "world's fastest hybrid," according to VW.

The modified Jetta Hybrid was driven by Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago, and the official speed was 185.394 mph (298.363 kph). That is "the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid car on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats." Production-based here still means that the powertrain was modified by Volkswagen engineers in Germany. We can see aerodynamic wheels, but exact changes that were implemented were not described, only that the car was "run according to SCTA rules." The production Jetta Hybrid gets 45 miles per gallon and has a 0-60 time of 9.0 seconds. It uses a four-cylinder, 1.4-liter turbocharged, 150-horsepower, TSI gasoline engine mated to a 20-kW (27-hp) electric motor.

Sure, 185 mph is impressive, but it's not that far ahead of the record set in May by a huge hybrid Volvo truck in the flying kilometer: 165 mph. We suggest a head-to-head.
Show full PR text
  • Motor Trend magazine writer Carlos Lago runs 185 mph (298 kph) in turbocharged Jetta Hybrid to set Hybrid Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Herndon, VA - Volkswagen announced today that a 2013 Jetta Hybrid driven by Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago recorded a speed of 185.394 mph (298.363 kph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Nevada, during the Southern California Timing Association's (SCTA) annual Speed Week. This is the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid car on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats.
"Achieving this speed at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class," said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, VW Group of America. "As well as being expected to achieve combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles."

Lago drove a Jetta Hybrid specially modified to run according to SCTA rules. The all-new Jetta Hybrid marries a 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® gasoline engine that generates150 horsepower with a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electric motor that provides an additional 27 hp. The Jetta Hybrid is part of Volkswagen's Think Blue® strategy, an initiative that encourages eco-friendly mobility and progressive ideas for responsible action in everyday life.

To achieve the kind of horsepower needed to run at 185 mph (298 kph) at Bonneville, the powertrain was modified by Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany. Project integration and other modifications to enable the car to run safely on the salt were handled by A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering, based in Camarillo, California. The implementation and final calibration of the drivetrain in the car was supported by the engineers from the Volkswagen Test Center California in Oxnard, CA.

"We are really proud that our new Jetta Hybrid is the world's fastest hybrid," said Marc Trahan, Executive Vice President, Group Quality. "It was a real challenge to integrate the complex hybrid elements and generate the power needed to run at these speeds. The Jetta Hybrid Land Speed Record project shows both the sporty nature of our Hybrid offering and the technical excellence of our engineers in Wolfsburg and in the Test Center California."

Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh commented: "It is a real honor to partner with Volkswagen in this project and we look forward to sharing this adventure with our 1.1 million magazine subscribers, our more than three million website unique users, and our increasingly popular YouTube channel. And we hope that we will be back at the Salt very soon to go even faster with the Jetta Hybrid."

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

This press release and images of the Motor Trend Jetta Hybrid are available at

"DSG", "TSI","VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. "Motor Trend" is a registered trademark of Source Interlink Media, a division of Source Interlink Companies, Inc.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Where stated, fuel economy values (mpg) are forecast manufacturer values for the USA; those EPA estimates were not available at time of release.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
        J Baustian
        • 3 Years Ago
        They do? They fall apart after only 20k miles? What am I going to do with this Golf that I bought new and now has 385,000 miles on the odometer? And why do they have such a high resale value? Do you know something no one else does? Or do we know something you don't?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I have ~50k on my 2009 GTI as of now... No issues to speak of.
        David J. Bernstein
        • 3 Years Ago
        I love these dumbass stereotypes on German cars. I have a BMW 325i sedan that has well over 170,000 miles on it and I've never had any quality issues on it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hmm... 140,000 on my 2001 GTI... no problems what soever since I bought it new. Guess there is always a hater....
      • 3 Years Ago
      world's fastest production hybrid? how about the Lexus GS... it's faster than this German piece of turd.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Infiniti M hybrid is faster than the Lexus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unreliable piece of ****
        • 3 Years Ago
        How long have you had your Jetta Hybrid?
          • 3 Years Ago
          we had a TwinDrive for 159thousand km in our company as part of a field trial… great car and went back without issues (got some updates during the period)
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must be talking about Chrysler again... silly you.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's great. Now if only they actually sold a hybrid. Vaporware. And the media never calls them out on it.
      Joe D. Weaver
      • 3 Years Ago
      this can't be accurate, the porsche 918 is faster but I guess its not in production yet, how about the 911 GT3 with the KERS system? or the KERS system add-on for the Ferrari 599 GTO... come on now folks a jetta isn't the worlds fastest at anything... well except fastest way to transport 5 hipsters to starbucks for cafe mocha latte frappe supremes with no sugar... and then on to the apple store for the latest 64GB iGizmo retina HD 4g Pro
      • 3 Years Ago
      Production based my foot.... WRC cars are production based and must comform to roadworthiness standards at all times - they even have beam deflectors in Britain to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic (legal requirement for LHD cars in Britain) and I know of a case where a WRC driver was fined by police when moving between stages for his not being road legal. So, this Jetta may be more alike with a showroom car than a WRC car, but production car it ain't, only another assoholicly worded press release from VW.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not bad, but there is no way it could go that fast with the stock motor. Doesn't say what engine modifications they had to make to get it to go that fast, it has to have at least 400 hp to do that.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any more information on the engine modifications? The press release does not seem to be attached and the article is missing interesting details... :)
      David Circione
      • 2 Years Ago
      1 The Volkswagon Jetta Hiybird Set a Speed record of 185 Miles Per Hour too!
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X