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This Is the World's Fastest Volkswagen Beetle, and It Just Hit 205 Miles Per Hour

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author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2016

This is the world's fastest Volkswagen Beetle. It's yellow, it uses a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, it's heavily modified, and it just hit 205 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats. And I thought my Aston Martin was fast.

The Beetle -- dubbed the Volkswagen Beetle LSR by Volkswagen, who supported its creation -- hit 205 mph last week at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association's 2016 World of Speed event, when the normally empty Salt Flats are stuffed with timing gear and speed-detection systems in order to measure some of the fastest cars in the world. Or, in this case, the fastest Beetle.

That's right: By reaching a top measured speed of 205.122 mph, the LSR has become the world's fastest Beetle. It was piloted by Preston Lerner, contributing editor for Automobile Magazine -- he'll surely write a tremendous story about his experience. Lerner has already called the ride a "serious thrill" and noted that "we had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy." Lerner also said "seeing [an indicated] 208 mph briefly on the digital readout was an experience I'll never forget."

So how do you make the world's fastest Beetle? THR Manufacturing in Santa Paula, California, is largely responsible for the engine, which received new turbochargers, pistons, camshafts, connecting rods and modifications to the head. The result was more than 600 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel. The Beetle was also lowered and received special Salt Flats wheels and tires. And then there's the most unique modification: Designers added a couple of parachutes in back to help the car slow down.

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Certified 2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Classic
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Used 2016 Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T Denim Convertible
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This Is the World's Fastest Volkswagen Beetle, and It Just Hit 205 Miles Per Hour - Autotrader