Car Culture

Volkswagen's 500-hp Jetta never made it to Bonneville

VW will take a crack at the land speed record in September at a different event.

The salt flats aren't going anywhere. VW will eventually get its run.

Volkswagen

Sometimes things just don't work out the way you want them to, which is why Volkswagen never got around to its land-speed record attempt this past weekend.

Volkswagen had originally planned to take its modified Jetta to the Bonneville Salt Flats this past weekend to capture the land-speed record in the "2.0-liter Blown Gas Coupe" category. However, Jalopnik had boots on the ground in Bonneville and noticed that VW was nowhere to be seen.

However, when reached for comment, Volkswagen offered up an explanation to Jalopnik. According to a spokesperson, the land-speed Jetta had a transmission issue during a dyno run, which set the company back a fair bit. "Instead of making the team work 18 hour days," the spokesperson said, Volkswagen chose to accept its fate and reschedule the record attempt for September. The event won't have as much fanfare around it, but it'll still be an opportunity for VW to try and pick up another record.

Volkswagen shouldn't have much in the way of trouble when its car finally hits the salt flats. Carrying a heavily modified version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 that will eventually appear in the hopped-up Jetta GLI, its car puts out north of 500 horsepower, which should be enough to beat the current land-speed class record of 208.472 mph. The car is a modified 2019 Jetta with a lowered suspension, stripped interior and a set of wheels and tires engineered specifically for salt flats.  

VW has already picked up some notable records in 2018, albeit using a different car. The I.D. R Pikes Peak electric race car captured the overall record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and shortly after that, it also earned the EV hill climb record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.