IAA 2011: Volkswagen Beetle R Concept Hints at 260HP+ Production Model

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Ever since it became known that Volkswagen was developing the new generation of the Beetle, there were rumors about a high-performance variant wearing the 'R' badge. Earlier this year, the German company introduced the production model but the most powerful version was fitted with a 2.0-liter TSI producing 200-horses. Fast but not fast enough.

However, this may soon change as Volkswagen is giving us the clearest indication of its future plans yet with the unveiling of the new Beetle R Concept at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Beginning with the exterior, the Beetle R Concept sports a subtly aggressive design with newly sculpted bumpers that were widened by 30 mm, and blistered wheel arches widened by 15mm per side that house massive 20-inch wheels in the same “Talladega” design found on the Golf R and Scirocco R models.

The study also gets a front lip spoiler, LED daytime running lights incorporated inside the headlamps, a rear wing that is significantly larger than on the production Beetle, a rear diffuser and “Black High Gloss” paint on the roof, the upper part of the bootlid connecting to it, the door mirror housings and door handles.

Furthermore, we also find ventilation slots on the right and left sides of the engine bonnet, and quad tail pipes at the back.

Inside, the Beetle R Concept gets a pair of bucket sport seats up front upholstered in black Nappa leather with “Space Blue” piping, while “Black High Gloss” was used for dashboard accents and decorative elements around the gearshift grip. There are also unique instrument gauges, plus aluminum pedals and door sills.

And now for the million dollar question: what's lurking under the hood? Well, while Volkswagen avoided giving a direct answer to that question, the Germans outlined their intentions by saying that the Beetle R is the third variation of the 'R' family after the Golf R (199 kW / 270 PS) and Scirocco R (195 kW / 265 PS), both of which use a 2.0-liter TFSI four-banger.

VW added, "as an “R”, the Beetle could demonstrate a performance potential similar to that of the Golf R and Scirocco R," which pretty much answers our question, meaning that if or rather when, the Beetle R enters production, it will most likely be powered by the same powertrain delivering somewhere between 260 and 270-horses.


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