VW Beetle takes to the rally course


February 10, 2014

The GRC Beetle that will be tearing up the rallycross track later this year

The GRC Beetle that will be tearing up the rallycross track later this year

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After hitting the sand with its Beetle Dune concept, Volkswagen is taking its iconic automobile to the rallycross circuit. Announced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the Global Rallycross (GRC) Beetle, however, is more than a concept, with the car set to compete in the 2014 Global Rallycross Championship season.

The all-wheel-drive GRC Beetle is built around the third-generation Beetle that entered production in 2011 and was an attempt to give the vehicle a more aggressive look than the New Beetle that preceded it.

The car is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection TSI engine putting out more than 560 hp (417 kW) and will be driven by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed as part of the newly-formed Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, which results from a partnership between VW and Andretti Motorsport.

For the uninitiated, rallycross races are conducted on closed tracks measuring between half a mile (0.8 km) and a mile (1.6 km) long that feature a mix of dirt and tarmac, as well as obstacles and jumps. Cars are pitted against the clock and each other in a series of heats, with points awarded to the top 16 finishers. The driver with the most points at the end of the season takes home the GRC championship.

Because the GRC Beetle is still being worked on, Foust and Speed will begin the 2014 GRC in modified Polo rally cars before switching to the Beetle. With the 2014 GRC kicking off in May, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team is hoping to have the car ready for action by June.

Source: Volkswagen, GRC

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Make a production version that is AWD and, I would finally be willing to buy a new beetle versus a older car that I would build up baja style.

Doug Doyle

I think that is way cool. I think they should call it Herb 3rd. :)

I think the newest form of the Beetle is more muscular than cute. It has a more aggressive look to it, IMO.

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