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Is Bonneville Salt Flat Mark Next To Fall To Volkswagen?

Volkswagen, having just won three major speed marks, is seeking yet another next month in Utah as the 2019 Jetta GLI will compete for best time on the great Bonneville Salt Lake.

It has been a banner year for Volkswagen. For example, roughly two weeks ago, the automaker set a new mark for the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife and, not to be outdone, VW Motorsports, ran a brand-new single-seater up Pikes Peak and, in doing so, trashed the record for the hill climb.

VW Shatters Nurburgring Norschleife Mark

At the Nurburgring, VW erased a single lap time that dates from 2003. Interestingly, VW owned the 2003 record. And, at Belgium’s Spa track, VW set a single-lap record as well.

And, in the new record for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, an I.D. R Pikes Peak single-seater, scampered up the hill in a little over 5 minutes, crushing the former mark by more than 50 seconds. VW I.D. R Tears Up Former Pikes Peak Record

In another record attempt, VW of America (VWofA) has announced that it will run a specially tuned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta to shatter the BGC/G class record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. The Bonneville Jetta will use a modified version of VW’s EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct injection four-cylinder powerplant. The Southern California Tuning Association is backing the weeklong speed attempts.

Bonneville Tuning Specialist Reworks Jetta

THR Manufacturing, a Bonneville preparation specialist, based in Ventura, Calif., has tuned a 2019 Jetta that will run on the great salt lake. THR modified the VW engine that will make the record effort. The same powerplant is set to be standard on the Jetta GLI performance model.

VW is hopeful the new model can beat the existing class record of 208.472 mph. VW hopes the record attempt will show the potential performance of the EA888 engine. The tuning effort shows what modifications and what it can achieve with some modifications, as well as the Jetta’s exceptionally aerodynamic shape. Indeed, the Jetta’s drag coefficient is a very lean 0.27.

“We are delighted with the reception for the all-new 2019 Jetta in North America,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “With the attempt on the Bonneville speed record with the Jetta, we want to underline the Jetta’s sporty credentials and get customers excited for the more performance-oriented Jetta GLI on the way.”

Many Changes Made To The Jetta

To make the run on the famed salt flat, the Bonneville Jetta has had many changes from stock. For example, the tuner lowered the suspension; and the tuner fitted unique Salt Flat wheels and tires. Finally, a limited-slip differential has been added to increase traction. Also, the tuning specialist gutted the interior and outfitted full safety equipment. The equipment includes a full roll cage, racing seat and harness and a fire-suppression system. And, to help the Jetta slow down, it has been fitted with a pair of parachutes.

The Bonneville Jetta’s graphic treatment was the work of VW’s Southern California Design Center. “This was truly a fun project to be involved in,” Reto Brun, director of the design center, said.“We wanted to highlight the sporty nature of the Jetta and give the car design graphics that would make it stand out on the client-like environment of the Bonneville Salt Flats. We wish the team luck as they attempt to make this the fastest Jetta – and fastest production-based [car] Volkswagen ever seen!”

Sources: Volkswagen, research