Volkswagen of America specially tuned a Beetle LSR with a 2 litre turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine, and went on to achieve a speed of 205.122 mph over a flying mile — the fastest ever recorded for a Beetle. The car was driven by Automobile magazine contributing editor Preston Lerner on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah.
To achieve the horsepower needed to run above 200 mph at Bonneville the powertrain had to be specially modified. With new turbochargers, pistons, camshafts, connecting rods, and head modifications, it produced 543 bhp and 421 pound-feet of torque at the wheels.
The Beetle had many other changes. The suspension was lowered, special Salt Flat wheels and tyres were fitted, a limited-slip differential added to aid traction, and the interior was stripped out and fitted with full safety equipment, such as a rollcage, racing seat and harness, and a fire suppression system. To help slow the car down, the Beetle was fitted with a pair of parachutes.