Feature Flick: Driving a Modified Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid at Bonneville Speed Week

What does it take to build the world’s fastest hybrid? Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago explains how to turn a Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid into an SCTA production class racer at Bonneville Speed Week on this Feature Flick.

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Lago begins by describing what modifications helped the team get the most out of the hybrid powertrain and chassis, plus a rundown on what safety equipment is required to drive on the salt. The crew at EFI West strip the Jetta Hybrid’s interior of all unnecessary weight and a roll cage is added along with an engine fire suppression kit. Under the hood, the 1.4-liter engine is rebuilt to withstand more boost from a larger turbocharger and the hybrid’s battery pack is retuned to work like a nitrous kit. Initially, EFI West expected to have 14 weeks for the build, and despite delays, the team put the car together in just seven weeks.

Next, Lago describes the environment at the salt flats, likening it to “an alien world” where vehicles at the Bonneville Speed Week are some of the most diverse race cars around. After three successful runs, the Jetta Hybrid experiences some problems on the fourth run of the day. Check out the video below to see if the crew can repair the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid for a final pass.

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