More details revealed for VW Rallycross Beetle


June 23, 2014

VW's new Rallycross Beetle

VW's new Rallycross Beetle

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Volkswagen has revealed more details of the vehicle it will use in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship later this season. With 544 hp (405 kW) from its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the GRC Beetle is little more than a distant relative of your grandma's Beetle.

The GRC's engine is intercooled, with a 6 speed sequential gearbox to let drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed bang through the gears more quickly than a standard manual gearbox. All 544 horses are put to the ground through a fixed ratio all-wheel drive system with multi-plate limited-slip differentials both front and rear.

Rallycross throws up engineering challenges that other series' simply don't have to deal with. The tracks featured in 2014 have seen cars taking on jumps, and often have drivers racing on gravel and tarmac in the same lap. Because of this rugged racing, Volkswagen has fitted the GRC Beetle with strut suspension and ZF dampers, with 9.1 in (23 cm) of travel to soak up the inevitable hard landings.

17 inch wheels shod in 240/640 Yokohama racing tires are attached to brakes with four piston calipers clamping 14 inch ventilated discs at the front, and 11.8 inch discs at the rear.

The combination of all-wheel drive grip, 544 hp and a minimum weight of 2,668 lb (1,210 kg) makes the GRC Beetle lightning quick off the line, with VW predicting it will sprint from 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in just 2.1 seconds. And there's no doubt it looks mean, with the massive rear spoiler, front aero kit and flared wheel arches granting the car some serious presence.

The new Beetle GRC replaces VW's Rallycross Polo, which has already notched up two wins.

Source: Volkswagen

About the Author
Scott Collie Based in Melbourne, Australia, Scott grew up with a passion for cars and a love of writing. He now combines the two by covering all things automotive for Gizmag. When he’s got a spare moment, you can usually find him freezing himself silly in search of fresh powder to ski. All articles by Scott Collie

What is the red arrow pointing to on the rear bumper?

Bob Flint

I too am curious about the red arrow on the rear bumper. Is it a cut off switch?

It is like Herbie on steroids. :)


The red arrow points to the towing attachment point.

Not very visible at this angle and resolution but click on the image to see a larger version.


Seriously, towing front & back advertised with an arrow and bright red strap sticking out like a tongue. Does that mean this macho beetle breaks down a lot?

Bob Flint

PLEASE VW - detune it by about 5-10 per cent and sell it to the general public ... I would say the front/rear towing points are there so the kind-hearted VW pilots can offer stuck competitors a helping hand!

The Skud

It's a general rule in most racing, cars have front and rear tow hook attachment points. It's so that disabled cars can be easily towed off course. Rules usually stipulate that they be easily located. BigWrapGuy is right, the race-ready version will have an external ignition cut-off switch also with an arrow to help workers locate it.


On an active race course, course workers need to grab your disabled car and get it out of the way ASAP. We used to be told that, if they didn't see your tow hook very clearly, they would be hooking onto the first chunk of steel they laid eyes on. So, if we didn't want our crippled cars further damaged while being yanked off course, we had better be darn sure the first chunk of steel they laid eyes on was the tow hook. Hence the big red arrows that often have the word TOW in big letters too.

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