Back to Previous Page

Despite a new redesign featuring a wider stance and lower, more aggressive lines, Volkswagen's newest Beetle still sports a curvaceous exterior that might not appeal to those seeking brawny performance. VW is hoping to change that with the Beetle R Concept, a souped-up version of the retro hatchback that debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Featuring Volkswagen's familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Beetle R Concept is undoubtedly tuned beyond the standard Beetle 2.0T's 200 horsepower. Volkswagen maintains that the Beetle R Concept really is just a concept and hasn't released any official details, but the similarly tuned 2012 Golf R is expected to have around 260 horsepower when it arrives in the US next spring.

Exterior mods to the Beetle R Concept certainly up its testosterone level. The "Serious Gray" colored hatchback features oversized front brakes with blue calipers, wider front and rear bumpers, enlarged air intakes and five-spoke, 20-inch "Talladega" chrome alloy wheels. Other upgrades include quad exhaust, a fixed rear spoiler and an aggressive rear bumper design with ducts for brake cooling.

The Beetle R Concept also features sporty revisions inside, including Nappa leather-upholstered sport bucket seats with embossed "R" logos and contrasting colors on the dashboard and gear lever. Other upgrades to the sporty Beetle's cabin include high-gloss black finish, brushed-aluminum pedals, dashboard-mounted auxiliary gauges and a beefy steering wheel featuring audio controls and paddles for manual shifting.

While Volkswagen won't commit yet to producing the Beetle R Concept, we wouldn't be surprised to see it join the Beetle's range sometime soon - especially since the automaker has developed high-performance versions of the Beetle in the past. If the Beetle R does make it to dealerships, expect a base price somewhere above $30,000, since a well-optioned 2.0T model already starts around $26,000.

 

See more coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

 

JEFFREY ARCHER is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.
Was this article helpful to you? Yes / No
Loading Ajax Content Loading Ajax Content