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Volkswagen Beetle LSR sets new speed record

When you think about speed, the Volkswagen Beetle immediately comes to mind, right?

No? Well, consider this: A modified Beetle LSR recently achieved 205.122 mph (330 km/h) over a flying mile on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. And according to driver Preston Lerner, Editor at Automobile Magazine, there was “enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy.”

Speaking of which, the folks at THR Manufacturing in California took the Volkswagen Beetle’s standard 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder TSI engine and installed new turbochargers, pistons, camshafts, connecting rods, and cylinder heads. The result was 543 horsepower and 421 lb-ft of torque at the wheels (more than 600 hp and nearly 500 lb-ft at the flywheel).

Other modifications included a lowered suspension, special Salt Flat wheels and tires, a limited-slip differential, and a stripped-down interior outfitted with full safety equipment.

“We are completely thrilled with the Beetle LSR’s performance at Bonneville,” said Dr. Hendrik Muth, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The Beetle is not the most aerodynamic car in our portfolio, so running 205 mph is a testament to the power that can be made from the EA888 TSI 4-cylinder engine. This feat truly underscores the sporty and pugnacious spirit of the Beetle.”