fastest vw


March 12, 2002, Victoria Australia – Prior to the 1995 debut of a mighty fast 11.00-second naturally aspirated road registered VW Beetle, New South Welshman owner Rod Penrose couldn’t have – in his wildest dreams – known that in seven years he would own the world’s fastest tintop VW powered sedan.


“In ’97 I hooked up with HPC, the boys inspiring me to bolt a turbocharger to the Beetle’s 2.4 litre engine, and I immediately ran a 10.1 @ 136mph,” Rod enthused. A few months later and the number had tumbled to a brilliant 9.65 @ 145mph. That from what was ostensibly a road registrable VW sedan!


Having achieved as much as was deemed possible in a road car, Rod set about building a race car to the American A/Sedan rules that state a vehicle must run a VW style engine, it has to maintain the stock wheelbase and a steel body. The record sat at a stout 9.33 seconds and 150 mph.


Unperturbed, Rod, with the assistance of HPC; the Victorian high performance coating company applying their expertise to the turbocharger, exhaust system, waste gates and inlet manifold – set about building a light weight VW powered by a 2810cc Autocraft engine.


Over the three-year build, and in addition to many of the so-called traditional components, Rod employed a number of homegrown ideas that would best accommodate a locally configured T72 Turbologic turbocharger, and induction system. Power is delivered through a beefed Volkswagen four speed transaxle sporting a 4.57:1 alloy spool to 28 x 9 x 15” Mickey Thompson slicks. The vehicle tips the scales at a race weight of 1745 pounds.


Although finished in time for a 1/8th mile bash at the Easter 2001 Jamboree, it wasn’t until November of the same year that Rod had the opportunity to complete a full-power ¼-mile run. And what a run it was! He literally blew the world record to smithereens with an incredible 8.96 @ 155.89 mph, launching out of the hole with the front wheels riding the air all the way through first gear. Second gear came in 1.36 seconds, third was pulled at 3.19 seconds and top gear in just 4.49 seconds, with each data-logged shift taking just 11/100ths of a second! In the process, the VW achieved the 0-100kmh run in an incredible 1.92 seconds on its way to 200kmh in just 5.4 seconds!


The stunning performance has blown Rod and sponsors, HPC, away. “It really came quite easily as I had something in reserve. Now I’m looking to increase the boost and fit a new OzNoz nitrous kit. I reckon the nitrous will really kick things along.”


Just how fast the VW will go is anybody’s guess, however one thing is for sure, it already is and will surely maintain its world record performances.


Part of the success can be attributed to the assistance of HPC. By coating specific parts, heat is contained and airflow improved, resulting in greater power levels and improved reliability.


HPC High Performance Coatings is located at 6 Watson Road, Leongatha, Victoria. 3953.

Ph 03-5662 4719. E-mail:


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