Volkswagen's sporty Beetle R Concept
By Ben Coxworth
September 13, 2011
If you're one of the people who bemoan how Volkswagen's "new" Beetle has strayed from the original's simple, utilitarian nature ... well, you might want to stop reading now. The German automaker is debuting its high-performance Beetle R Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. Currently still a design study, it was created at the Volkswagen R GmbH facility, which in the past was the birthplace of R versions of the Golf and Scirocco. The Beetle R is based on the existing turbocharged Beetle 2.0 TSI and sports some unique design features.
Probably the most unique feature of the Beetle R is its redesigned front and rear bumpers, which have been widened by 30 millimeters. The front bumper has three air intakes, the middle of which supplies oxygen to the engine, while the outer two serve to cool the brakes. The rear bumper features two air exhaust vents, along with a diffuser.
In order to keep the engine cool (along with adding to the car's looks), two ventilation slots are located on either side of the hood. The rear spoiler, meanwhile, is larger than those on production models. Also visible in the back are dual sets of chrome tailpipes. Protruding sills run along the car's two sides.
The Beetle R rolls on 20-inch Talladega alloy wheels, through which the blue R-design brake calipers can be spotted.
Inside, the driver and passenger both sit in black leather-upholstered motorsport shell seats. The instrument layout, which includes a middle-mounted tachometer, is another part of the R-specific interior.
Like the 2.0 TSI, the R has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, and a six-speed DSG transmission. There are no power figures available for the concept car, but VW says it could demonstrate a performance potential similar to that of the Golf R (199 kW / 270 PS).
So, will anyone ever be able to buy a Beetle R of their own? Hard to say, although it's likely that at least a few of its features will find their way into production models.