Limited Edition Beetle GSR unveiled at Chicago Auto Show
Volkswagen's new Beetle GSR - only 3,500 will be made worldwide
What’s black/yellow, can bullet through the 0-100 km/h mark in a tick over 18 seconds and is considered one of the people’s cars most collectible scarabs? Volkswagen’s wasp-colored 1303s Beetle, circa 1973, of course. The German automaker’s "Sport Beetle" was a limited edition, with only 3500 copies made available to the public. Aside from the obvious aesthetic markers, the 1303S carried with it the bullet-proof, almighty and all-powerful flat-4 capable of delivering 50 hp and 78 lb/ft of torque to the back wheels.
Jump forward 40 years and consumers find themselves faced with another yellow and black conundrum. Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen's 2013 GSR Beetle, like its 40 year old predecessor, will enjoy a limited run of only 3,500 when released into the world this May.
The stripey new GSR secures a 150 hp increase from its predecessor, amping up power to the front wheels to 200 hp, enabling a sprint to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 7.3 seconds. With a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph), power is made available to the wheels via either a 6-speed manual or DSG autobox. VW’s tried and true, turbo-charged 4 cylinder provides the go juice. And unlike the 40 year old’s 15-inch steel rim setup, the new GSR gets serious footing with black “Tornado” 19-inch alloy wheels and 235/40 rubbers.
Black stripes running just above the door sills, between the fore and aft haunches, are broken up by "GSR" in custom typographical treatment, further aesthetic testament to the car’s sporty nature and limited availability. In keeping with the theme of matte black on yellow, new R-Line design bumpers and a yellow/black rear spoiler were added to the model. Roof, side mirrors, the hood and trunk also receive the matte black color treatment.
Inside, the yellow/black sporty-bug theme continues. R-Line sports seats, with contrasting yellow stitching (US version in black leather) provide the butt hugging/lateral support for spirited driving. A high-grip leather sports steering wheel, with yellow stitching, R-Line logo and limited edition GSR badge at the 6 o’clock position help to rationalize the purchase while keeping your hands firmly on the wheel. GSR yellow on blackness continues throughout with an R-Line dash pad, a GSR gear stick, leather handbrake lever and of course, black floor mats with contrasting yellow embroidery in case you temporarily forgot where you were.
Whether the GSR holds interest and value the way the 1303S does in 40 years remains to be seen. It will be available in May for €30,300 (US$40,500).
About the Author
Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. With an education in automotives and marketing, Angus has rebuilt the carburetor on his 1963 Rambler Ambassador twice, gotten a speeding ticket in an F430 once, and driven & photographed everything from Lamborghinis to Maseratis to various German and Asian designs. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.
All articles by Angus MacKenzie
Talk about a 'killer bee'. It looks really cool - IMO - and has great performance (per article). If I had the money, I would get one.
$40K for a bug? Not even a very fast one? Nah. It's cute and all, but...nah.
Basically a Volkswagen GTi with less interior space, for $15K more money.
hmm...that a hefty price for a beetle. I got a Manx between $1k-$3k as a fix'em up project. It's street legal yet still a dune buggy, goes a little under 90 mph if i push it, and is just gorgeous in my opinion. Both Beetle and Manx are having new editions to their amazing line of cars, but this is to much for a beetle-even if it's got nav.
I can almost buy a Boss 302 Mustang for that. Umm....no. Make it with the 245hp turbo-diesel, and take off about 15 grand, we'll talk.
black roof for a car ? - maybe in europe, but in oz that's going to cook the interior
There is no comparing the cuteness of the original beetle (picture) with the heavy-handed graphics and and placement of that overbearing black matting. No integration of anything on that nice newer body was probably considered. To buy a graphics abomination on any car at any price is a sin. Don't anybody fall for poor taste, please.
Com'on VW you did the beetle cheaper than this you can do the same for us-40,000 ain't gonna get it-give us back the beetle concept! You can give us the same looks and feel cheaper and you know it! They'll blow off the showroom floor then but not this way!
Bring back the 66-67 beetle and dress it up you still go the dies!
for $40k it should come with awd and 300hp
no mention of mpg either...where's the "rest of the story"?
where's the EV version?
Now THAT should be Bumblebee.
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