First Look: Volkswagen Beetle R Concept

While officially only a concept, it is clear that the Volkswagen Beetle R will be coming to a showroom in the near future. VW has not yet released output figures, but has confirmed that the Beetle R will use the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, and Haldex-sourced all-wheel drive as the Golf R and Scirocco R. In those cars, the 2.0-liter produces 267 hp and 262 hp, respectively. The Golf R scoots from 0 to 60 in just 5.9 seconds and Volkswagen says to expect similar performance from the Beetle R.

A raft of exterior enhancements set the Beetle R apart from its lesser siblings. The Concept shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show wears Serious Grey paint with glossy black and chrome accents. Twenty-inch “Talladega” alloy wheels feature five triple-spokes and match those on the Golf and Scirocco R, albeit an inch larger in diameter while blue brake calipers with the R logo hide behind the alloys. To incorporate the larger wheels (19-inchers are the largest available on the Beetle Turbo), both the front and rear bumpers were widened by just over an inch. The new front bumper is split into three air intakes – the center one channels air to the engine, while the outer two help increase cooling to the brakes. The intakes, along with a race-inspired splitter, are dressed in high gloss black and the front splitter also receives a strip of chrome accenting. Two hood vents help to aid in engine cooling as well.

Around back is a new diffuser framed by quad chrome tailpipes. A lengthened version of the rear spoiler from the Beetle Turbo makes an appearance wearing body-color paint on the bottom and black on top. The side sills, roof, and upper part of the hatch are all painted in high gloss black as well.

The cabin of the Beetle R is decked out in black Nappa leather with space blue contrast stitching and carpet piping. Dashboard trim and trim around the gearshift are done in high gloss black, matching the exterior accents. The front seats have been upgraded to motorsport shell seats and are embossed with the R logo. Both the IP and center stack gauges have been updates to match the R-styled interior; most notably the IP has the tachometer front and center, instead of the speedometer like lesser Beetles.

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2017 Volkswagen Beetle

2017 Volkswagen Beetle

MSRP $24,725 1.8T S Convertible

0-60 MPH:

7.3 SECS


24 City / 33 Hwy

Horse Power:

170 @ 4800