This could be a decent April Fool’s joke, just that it’s real. Skoda is developing a car that will break the 320 km/h barrier in the famous Bonneville Speed Week in August. Held at the Bonneville Salt Flats 145 km west of Salt Lake City in north-western Utah, it has been the spiritual home to high-speed racing for almost a century.

This project is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Skoda’s vRS performance flagship badge, and the car used is a one-off modified Octavia vRS saloon. The brand’s UK technical team at Milton Keynes has been working in secret on the racer for several months now, with the assistance of performance software and tuning outfit REVO Technik.

The factory-fresh production Octavia vRS has been given improved aerodynamics and performance. For one, the car sits almost 80 mm lower and a has a new sub-frame which houses an intercooler. The engine is a standard 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit but the standard turbo has been ditched for a more advanced unit from Garrett. Now generating up to 600 PS, and producing 26-28 PSI of boost pressure, it drinks high-octane race fuel (with water methanol mix) instead of regular unleaded.

The Octavia has to follow Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) safety regulations to take part, which means a reinforced roll cage, parachute, fire extinguishers and window cage.

The vRS is entered into the ‘2.0-litre production car’ category and will race over a nine-mile (14.5 km) straight, which includes a timed mile in the middle. Performance through that section determines the class winner.