This Jet Powered Volkswagen Beetle Is A Flame Throwing Machine

Someone fitted a rocket on the back of a Volkswagen Beetle resulting in it spewing flames longer than its body. What could possibly go wrong? Volkswagen Beetles are probably the least expected vehicles to be associated with jet-powered cars. Yes, jet cars actually exist and can be quite economical, too. These unusual road vehicles are, however, extremely noisy on the road, making them impractical to drive regularly. On the other hand, the new Volkswagen " New Beetle" is basically a car that accomplishes quite the opposite of the aims of jet-propulsion. These compact coupes are meant to be practical, easy-to-drive machines that are anything but loud. For starters, the Volkswagen New Beetle's specs include engine options comprising of low displacement four-cylinders with equally diminutive power (via Volkswagen).

This gives the New Beetle a modest top speed ranging from 100 mph (for the base model) to 126 mph (for the Turbo variant). Acceleration isn't any faster either, with this new entry-level Volkswagen reaching 0 to 62 mph in a lengthy 14.6 seconds, while the Turbo one gets a decent yet still underwhelming 8.7 seconds. Let's just say this bug won't be flying through the street any time soon as long as it's utilizing its stock internals. That is, until someone fits it with a jet engine which would theoretically convert it into something close to a fire-breathing monster-on-wheels. But who exactly would even do such a thing, and why?

Behold, the Jet powered Volkswagen Beetle

Changes in the New Beetle from the original Volkswagen Beetle include a new front-mounted engine set-up. This finally freed up some space in the rear trunk to accommodate any extra luggage ... or a rocket. The latter is exactly what popped into the head of a certain Ron Patrick — a mechanical engineer who wanted the "wildest" street-legal vehicle he could imagine. According to his website, he originally planned to build the first-ever street-legal jet car at a time when there were basically none in existence. To do that, Patrick sourced a General Electric Model T58-8F -– a turboshaft engine usually seen in military helicopters -– for his jet Beetle build. The modified engine itself already idles at 13,000 RPM, but can rev up all the way to 26,000 RPM. This gave his jet-powered car a ludicrous 1,350 horsepower in the process. but how fast can it really go?

Unfortunately, not even Patrick knows the Jet Beetle's top speed, adding that he "probably never will." Although Patrick admitted he sometimes gets to ignite his car's unique thruster on highways, he doesn't want to push it too far simply because he made it for his amusement, not as his mobile coffin. Safety is also the reason Patrick kept most of the car's design intact, along with the reliability and practicality that this iconic nameplate is known for. Of course, a YouTube video of it suggests otherwise: So is the thing even close to being safe?

How is this jet powered car even legal?

Despite emitting scorching backfires, this unique, jet-powered Beetle handles pretty well, with Ron Patrick even refusing to install aftermarket parts when urged by promoters who didn't want it to look "too plain." Instead, the mechanical engineer envisioned what it would be like if his jet car rolled straight from Volkswagen — simple yet beautifully refined with an added ... flare, literally. Due to it still having its front-mounted internal combustion engine, this rocket Beetle can still be driven relatively safely without having to activate its rear jet. Toggling the jet engine during driving lets it transform seamlessly from tame bug to loud fire-breather and back again. While patrol officers couldn't resist pulling the jet-powered car over, Patrick revealed they couldn't find any reason to seize it, per his website.

However, he claimed the Department of Motor Vehicles still filed a formal request to determine whether or not the flaming Beetle was a national security threat should it fall into the wrong hands. As for what happened to the jet-powered Beetle, Patrick reportedly listed it on Craigslist back in 2020 (via R&T). The outlandish car came with an equally unreal $550,000 price tag, but it's unclear if anyone actually bought it. Hopefully, its new owner doesn't give the DMV reasons to confiscate it, especially since the picture above is said to be only a tenth of its flame-spewing capacity. If it does become a threat, perhaps the street-legal Batmobile's searing flamethrower could come in and save the day.