Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid Land Speed Racer

Behold the fastest production hybrid in the world. For the second time this year, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid LSR has moved the terminal-veolcity bar higher by averaging 186.313 mph at Bonneville. That breaks the SCTA's land speed record for production cars with forced induction engines of less than 1.5 liters.

On Oct. 5, Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago also posted the fastest run ever by a hybrid, hitting 187.147 mph during the last part of his second run. That bests the previous record by 1.753 mph set by the same car and driver in August.

In the official press release from Volkswagen (available below), the company brags that the "all-new 2013 Jetta hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class, offering excellent fuel economy while retaining the fun-to-drive nature expected from a Volkswagen." But don't let that fool you. While the car may look stock, SCTA rules allow some major modifications in the "production car" class.

The suspension was lowered, the interior gutted and replaced with a full roll cage, and the car got special Salt Flat wheels and tires. Major engine modifications took the 170-horsepower motor all the way to 300 horses. Totally allowed under the rules, but a bit misleading considering the production car name.
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10.08.2012
VOLKSWAGEN JETTA HYBRID SETS PRODUCTION CAR LAND SPEED RECORD AT BONNEVILLE WORLD FINALS
  • Turbocharged Jetta Hybrid sets SCTA H/PS production car record, averaging 186.313 mph over two runs-on 1.4 liters!
  • Car sets another fastest hybrid time, passing 300 km/h with a run at 187.147 mph
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah - After becoming the world's fastest hybrid at Bonneville in August, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid LSR returned to the Salt Flats on October 5th to break the Southern California Timing Association's (SCTA) H/PS land speed record. The class is for production cars with engines of less than 1.5 liters that use forced induction.

Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA's World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. In the course of making his second run, Lago averaged 187.147 mph for the last mile, beating the magical 300 km/h mark. This is also the fastest run recorded by a hybrid, beating the185.394 mph set by the same car back in August.

"We're very proud that the Jetta Hybrid has not only posted the fastest speed for a hybrid at Bonneville, but that it has gone out and broken an SCTA land speed record as well," said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, Volkswagen Group of America. "Achieving this record at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class, offering excellent fuel economy while retaining the fun-to-drive nature expected from a Volkswagen."

Lago drove a Jetta Hybrid specially modified to run in the SCTA's H/PS class. The all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid marries a 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® gasoline engine with a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and an electric motor. The combined output of the engine and electric motor is 170 horsepower, along with 184 pound-feet of torque.

Because the Jetta Hybrid runs in a production-car class, modifications are strictly controlled by the SCTA. The suspension was lowered, special Salt Flat wheels and tires fitted, and the interior was stripped and outfitted with full safety equipment, such as a rollcage, racing seat and harness, and a full fire suppression system. The powertrain is the area with the most freedom under the rules and was modified by Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany, in order to make the kind of horsepower needed to run at such high speeds at Bonneville-in this case, somewhere around 300 hp.

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 has taken the land speed record for its class," said Marc Trahan, Executive Vice President, Group Quality. "This was a fascinating project for our engineering team in Wolfsburg, who had to integrate the complex hybrid elements and generate a lot of additional power in a very short period of time in order to take the record. The Jetta Hybrid LSR project shows both the sporty nature of our hybrid offering and the technical excellence of our engineers in Wolfsburg and the Test Center California."

Volkswagen chose to partner with Motor Trend because it is one of the premier automotive enthusiast outlets in the world, with 1.1 million subscribers to the magazine, 5.5 million unique visitors to motortrend.com per month, and an increasingly popular YouTube channel that has 405,000 subscribers. Carlos Lago, who drove the Jetta, said: "It was an honor to drive the car on the Salt-and also pretty exciting. Driving in a straight line may look easy, but it's a real art to get the power down on the salt and you had better be paying attention to crosswinds, as they can really blow the car off course. Now I have the bug, I really want to become a member of the exclusive 200-mph club at Bonneville. Maybe next year?"

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 www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

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Motor Trend, part of Source Interlink Media, LLC, was founded in 1949 and has a circulation of 1.1 million and a total readership of 7 million. Internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive publishing, MOTOR TREND comprises Motor Trend Magazine; the award-winning website motortrend.com; Motor Trend Radio; Truck Trend; Motor Trend Classic; Motor Trend International Auto Shows; Motor Trend en Espanol; and the renowned Motor Trend Car, Truck and SUV of the Year Awards program.

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