Think all hybrid cars are slow? Think again. Volkswagen has set a production car land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with a modified 2013 Jetta Hybrid averaging 186.313 MPH over two runs on October 5th.
The Jetta Hybrid’s record-setting effort in the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) H/PS class topped a 185.394 MPH run made in August. (The H/PS class covers production cars using 1.5 liter forced induction engines.) While modifications were limited by class rules, horsepower output was significantly enhanced.
The record-setting Jetta Hybrid’s interior was gutted, caged, and outfitted with the requisite racing seat, safety harness, and fire surpression system. The suspension was lowered substantially, “special Salt Flat wheels and tires” were fitted, and the engine was breathed on. The stock production Jetta Hybrid drive train puts out 179 horsepower (HP) and 184 foot-pounds of torque, with its direct-injected 1.4-liter turbo TSI inline four-cylinder engine and electric motor. Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen engineers ratcheted up the system’s output to “somewhere around 300 HP,” providing a solid test for the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. Salt-specific modifications were performed by Camarillo, California-based A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering. The car was piloted by Motor Trend Associate Road Test Editor Carlos Lago. Some guys have all the fun. Well done, Carlos!
“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.”
Stay tuned, as MPGomatic performs a first test of the brand new 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid in early November. Alas, the car will not be fitted with those wicked cool pizza-pan wheel covers and the test will not take place at the Bonneville Salt Flats …
– by Daniel Gray