A modded Volkswagen Beetle Turbo R-Line 2014 was able to reach a speed of 208.15 miles per hour at Bonneville Salt Flats in the Utah desert.
The record took place on September 12, as the Beetle maintained an average speed of 205mph throughout the one-mile segment. Although the car features its retail 2.0-lt turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it was severely modified to reach an astounding 535.6 horsepower. The Beetle was dubbed LSR, short for Land Speed Record. It was overhauled by California’s THR manufacturing for the World of Speed 2016 event. They added new pistons, turbochargers, and modified cylinder heads to produce its ridiculous engine power.
Herbie, move aside: LSR coming through
The LSR’s suspension was lowered, and it also features thinner tires designed to drive on salt and plate-like rims, all to reduce wind drag and achieve the highest speed possible.
But to be deemed an official Beetle, modifications had to be in line with speed record rules, as the exterior could not be radically modified to achieve better aerodynamics.
The Beetle was able to reach speeds that were previously restricted to Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and similar sports cars. The vehicle was driven by Automobile Magazine editor Preston Lerner, who managed to safely push the Beetle model to its fastest speed ever recorded.
On the non-speed side of design, the LSR Beetle featured two brake parachutes, a safety roll cage, a racing bucket seat with a harness and a fire extinguisher.
World of Speed Utah
World of Speed lasts four days, and it is the most famous of the Utah Salt Flats events. It is held each year in mid-September, when some of the fastest vehicles on earth visit the location to break records and race each other.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are perfect for high-speed driving on land. Attendants are advised to bring sun protection, plenty of water, and even chairs to rest from being standing up.
The only time where there is any activity at the flats is when there is a racing event; otherwise, whoever goes there has to be prepared for the harsh conditions of the Utah desert.
One of the most particular events at World of Speed is the bar stool race. The fastest bar stool managed to reach 54.062 miles per hour, and they are limited to electric-powered engines, which must be powered by a single 12 Volt DC battery.
The vehicle must be constructed from an actual bar stool, and it must have at least four pneumatic or solid rubber tires. The driver must also be sitting on the bar stool for the race to count. Anyone who adheres to the rules of the bar stool competition may enter as a racer.
Each year, tourists and locals yearn to see races at World of Speed. But as more competitors arise every time, the speed limit also appears to increase, so it is not for just anyone to head down to America’s fastest speedway to try and beat the competition.