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VW Beetle LSR: the 205mph Beetle

Published: 20 September 2016

► New speed record by VW Beetle LSR
► Tops 205mph at Lake Bonneville
► 
Salt-flats special not due on sale

It’s not your average VW Beetle: this factory-prepped LSR model boasts a range of upgrades to let it compete at the World Of Speed event on the Lake Bonneville salt flats.

And LSR stands for?

Land Speed Record. Which is why its 2.0-litre TSI engine has been tweaked to produce a Golf R-slaying 543bhp and 421lb ft.

While it’s not quite challenging for the outright land speed record, it’s claimed to be the fastest Beetle ever – hitting an impressive 205.122mph on the Utah salt plains. 

How on earth did they make a cooking Beetle go so fast?

There’s a new, very serious turbocharger, different pistons, camshafts, con rods and cylinder head, says Volkswagen... Pretty much a new engine, in other words.

Also fitted are special wheels and tyres, an LSD to boost traction, extreme body aero and a pair of parachutes to haul the Bug back down to sane speeds.

A far cry from the Herbie days of air-cooled Beetle performance. And no pinch of salt required.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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