Skip to main content

Fastest Bug On the Salt Flats: Volkswagen Beetle Exceeds 205 Miles Per Hour at Bonneville

Photo Credit: Volkswagen of America

1935 was defined by two milestone events in automotive history. In Germany, the first two prototypes of the 'People's Car" were  constructed with guidance of Ferdinand Porsche. These vehicles quickly emerged as the precursor of the Volkswagen Beetle serving as an influential design ranked alongside the Ford Model T in significance. In the United States on a massive bed of salt in Utah, British speed record setter Sir Malcolm Campbell bettered an effort from a previous outing on Daytona Beach. On September 3rd of 1935, Campbell piloting his Rolls-Royce engined Blue Bird sailed to a 301.129-mile per hour land speed that stood for two years. 80 years after both moments, Volkswagen and the Bonneville Salt Flats combine for a new historic achievement.

The stage for land speed records since the early part of the 20th century, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the sight of a yellow compact car exceeding the performance threshold defining most supercars could be the wackiest if it wasn't the Volkswagen Beetle (one of the world's most versatile vehicles). For the 2016 Utah Salt Flats Racing Association World of Speed event, a specially-configured version of the modern Volkswagen, the Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record) roared through a flying mile at a speed of 205.122 miles per hour with the speedometer eventually reading 208 miles per hour through the run.

Piloted by Automobile magazine's contributing editor Preston Lerner through the Bonneville Speedway located near Wendover, Utah, the Volkswagen Beetle LSR featured a lowered suspension, limited-slip differential, a Salt Flat wheel/tire combination and an stripped interior outfitted with a roll cage as well as race seat. However, the main source for the 205.122-mile per hour success was a heavily-modified version of the Volkswagen EA888 turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the stock 210-horsepower Beetle R-Line. Producing insane horsepower similarly seen in the Beetle race car used in the Red Bull Global RallyCross Series, the gasoline engine was souped-up by upgraded by new pistons, camshaft, connecting rods and a meaner turbocharger system. The Volkswagen Beetle LSR's 543 horsepower and 421 pound-feet of torque measured at the flywheel arrives from the engine said to have produced greater than 600 horsepower. 

Talking about his 205.122-mile per hour record conforming to Southern California Timing Association G/BGC rules, Preston Lerner described the effort in the Volkswagen Beetle LSR, "as a serious thrill. "We had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy. But seeing 208 miles per hour briefly on the digital readout was an experience I'll never forget." said Lerner.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton Quickest In Qatar Qualifying

Photo Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. Saturday’s qualifying for the inaugural Formula 1 race in the Arab nation of Qatar has assembled what is certain to be a dramatic opening lap showdown between this season’s title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. In setting the grid for Sunday’s 57-lap main event on the fast, high grip 5.380-kilometer Losail International Circuit, it was the driver of the #44 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team race car that took honours. Lewis Hamilton’s pole-winning lap time of 1-minute, 20.827 seconds in the final Q3 session putting a cap on a time trial where the seven-time World Drivers’ Champion handily controlled through the three sessions. Joining Hamilton on the front row of the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix will be Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing machine. The Honda-powered entrant was 0.455 seconds slower than the rival Mercedes race car. With the race at Losail being the third-to-last event on the 2021 Form

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Review

Photo Credit: Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. untitled A companion to the NTT IndyCar Series finale weekend on the streets of Long Beach, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship staged a 26-car race on Saturday consisting of DPi, GTLM and GTD class machines. With the conclusion of the 1-hour, 40-minute Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach sports car event, the overall winner was the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac shared by the driving duo of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani. The victory was a decisive weekend for the Whelen Engineering Racing team that had scored the pole position and went on to take the checkered flag with a 10.95-second gap over the #01 Cadillac fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande. Corvette Racing enjoyed a dominant outing in the GTLM category. Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner in the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R beat the #3 car shared by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor. Only three GTLM class vehicles ran at Long Be

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series: NHRA Midwest Nationals

Photo Credit: Richard H Shute/Auto Imagery Inc. untitled At the NHRA Midwest Nationals, three of the top four classes of NHRA drag racing competed at World Wide Technology Raceway as the latest round in the series championship Countdown. Pro Stock Motorcycles received a planned break after an emotionally difficult outing at zMax Dragway in Charlotte leaving Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock cars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series to entertain the crowd in St. Louis, Missouri. The Top Fuel class eliminations resulted in an interesting semi-finals with Leah Pruett matched against Mike Salinas and Steve Torrence racing against John Hart. Taking the top spot in qualifying, Salinas and his Scrappers Racing car was triumphant against Pruett while Torrence’s CAPCO Racing machine earned his latest berth into a 2021 finals defeating Hart. In the finals Steve Torrence leaped off the line with an awful 0.142-second reaction time but proved victorious in the late stage of