Hot on the heels of its Pikes Peak triumph, Volkswagen has announced plans to take the BGC/C-class speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August.
There's method to Volkswagen's madness. Although it won't be coming to Australia, the new Jetta is being pitched as a sportier, more engaging drive than the outgoing car – especially in GLI guise, where it'll likely make use of the same EA888 four-cylinder turbo engine as the Golf GTI.
By chasing the class speed record (209mph, or 336km/h), VW USA is hoping the made-over sedan will make the Jetta seem a bit sexier.
It sits on lowered suspension, and there are flat aero wheels, salt-friendly tyres, a limited-slip differential and parachutes to make it ready for high-speed action. As a result, the coefficient of drag has dropped to a relatively slippery 0.27.
Inside, the stock cabin has been stripped out and kitted out with a roll cage, a race seat and harness, and a fire extinguisher. Anything can happen on the salt flats, so Volkswagen has gone all-out on the safety kit.
As for power, Volkswagen hasn't revealed an official output, but The Drive is reporting it could be upwards of 450hp (336kW). The combination of lots of power, front-wheel drive and a low-friction surface sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Volkswagen is clearly confident in the Jetta's ability.
"This was a truly fun project to be involved in,” said Reto Brun, director at the Volkswagen Design Center in California.
“We wanted to highlight the sporty nature of the Jetta and give the car design graphics that would make it really stand out on the alien-like environment of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
"We wish the team luck as they attempt to make this the fastest Jetta — and the fastest production-based Volkswagen — ever seen!”