When you hear the term ‘top speed’, all kinds of things come to mind. Rockets, for example. Or jets. yeah, jets are pretty damn cool. What doesn’t pop into your head is a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle, but as it happens, that’s exactly what you should be thinking of. Why? Because one just found itself on a salt going the giddy side of 200mph. Madness.

VW Beetle – yellow peril

Of course the car in question isn’t straight off the showroom floor. That would be unthinkable. Instead, it’s a significantly modified version. As much fun as it is to imagine a mobile Pikachu doing the ‘double ton’ without aid, that’s not the case.

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Yup, that’s one bad-ass Beetle

First, and most importantly of all, it’s got more power than normal. The 2.0 TSI engine has been reworked from the ground up. New rods, pistons, crank and a fancy cylinder head are all present and correct. The turbo has been upped, too. Along with the cooling system. Important when speeding over a dry lake bed.

The result of all this tinkering is 550PS (approx 540bhp in old money) and a staggering 571Nm of delicious torque. Needless to say, the Bug has also had a limited slip differential fitted to make sure that power gets to the floor.

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I looks so unassuming!

The of course there’s the safety. Roll cage, race seats, fire extinguishers, they are all present. Though sadly this means the little flower vase on the dash is no more. Sorry hippies. Don’t be too sad though. It’s also got parachutes to slow it down, which is pretty damn cool.

The result of all this was a recorded run of 205.122mph. Eat that, Herbie, you smug git. That’s a record-setting time for a car of this class. Impressive stuff. Though we have to commend the driver who clearly didn’t pass out when someone at VW said “Beetle” and “land speed record”.

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Speedy custard?

It just goes to show that any car can be made to do anything. So get out there, put some moon disc hubcaps on your Polo and try and crack 200mph! YOU CAN DO IT!*

*No, you can’t. Stop being silly.