First Look: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR and R-Line Convertible

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR

If you're a fan of Volkswagen's turbocharged Beetle, chances are you may be interested in a pair of special-edition Beetle Turbo models debuting this week at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

2014 Beetle GSR

Beetle-geeks will likely remember the original Gelb-Schwarzer Renner or "Black and Yellow Racer." Built in 1973, the special-edition model took a 1303S Super Beetle and decked it out with yellow paint and a matte black hood and decklid. Only 3500 were built for the European market.

40 years later, Volkswagen's reviving the GSR treatment -- and this time, it's bringing it to North America. Based on the Beetle Turbo coupe, the new 2014 Beetle GSR again wears bright yellow paint, along with a hood, roof panel, and decklid trimmed in matte black. New stripes -- with prominent GSR lettering -- run just above both rocker sills, while black-painted brake calipers peek through 19-inch Tornado aluminum alloy wheels.

The black-on-yellow color scheme continues within the Beetle GSR, as its black leather sport seats are accented with yellow contrast stitching, which matches the contrast stitching used on the leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel. GSR models also gain an R-Line dash pad, unique shift knob, leather handbrake lever, black floor mats with yellow embroidery, and a serialized emblem for the dashpad.

Like the original GSR, which used a stock 1600-cc engine, there are no mechanical changes in store for today's Beetle GSR. As such, it uses the Beetle Turbo's turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, which cranks out 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but Volkswagen's six-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.

VW says the new GSR will be available this fall, and that pricing will be formally announced at that point. Given its content -- including sunroof, Fender-branded audio system, keyless entry and ignition, and Bi-xenon headlamps -- essentially matches the current Turbo with Sunroof and Sound package, we'd expect the 2014 GSR to start slightly higher than $26, 395. Only 3500 cars will be built globally, and VW says "more than half" will be shipped to and sold in the U.S.


2014 Beetle Convertible R-Line

Volkswagen already confirmed its R-Line Beetle was destined for our shores, so it's not surprising to learn a R-Line Beetle Convertible will also join the portfolio for the 2014 model year.

Predictably, its R-Line decor essentially matches that of the Beetle R-Line Coupe. The angular front fascia gains large lower air intakes, while the headlamps are given LED daytime running lamps. Unique 19-inch wheels are also part of the package, as are R-Line emblems and a blacked-out rear diffuser panel. R-Line models may look sportier than other Beetles, but still use the same 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as any other Beetle Turbo - including the aforementioned Beetle GSR.

Inside, R-Line touches include metallic-like finishes for the dash and door trim; a flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel with R-Line branding; stainless-steel door sill plates with R-Line logos, aluminum sport pedals, and leather-trimmed sport seats. VW also says standard features will include navigation, keyless entry/ignition, and a Fender-branded premium audio system.

Pricing will be announced closer to launch later this year, but expect the Beetle R-Line convertible to carry roughly a $4000 premium over a comparably-equipped Beetle R-Line coupe.

Johnathan Gibson
call by feb 25 and recieve a 10 dollar discount
Tim Lucas
Ferdinand Porsche designed both the original Beatle and the first Porsche
Tim Lucas
Same family lineage
Gary Craig
They look the same to me.
Travis York
Dont insult the 911
Tim Lucas
It's a poor-man's 911
Younnas Alginusa
the german ICON,,,,
Gregory Easton
Uhhh - no
David Sivertsen-Neale
If you're a teenager.
Mark Weber
Too much of a gap between the top of the tire and the fender well. It needs shorter springs.
Lyndon Johnson
This is the correct color of yellow for the new body style. That pale, pastel yellow they tried to carry over from the old "New Beetle" just doesn't work on the new body for me. It looked alright on the previous-gen, but not this one.

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