VW Squeezes A Larger 553HP 2.0L Turbo Engine Into The 2015 Beetle GRC

The VW Andretti Rallycross team has unveiled two revised Beetle GRC cars which will compete in the 2015 Global Rallycross Championship.

Based on the vehicle introduced last year, the updated VW Beetle GRC has ditched the 1.6-liter turbocharged and intercooled TSI four-cylinder engine for a larger 2.0-liter TSI unit that produces 553hp and 465lb-ft (630Nm) of torque, compared to the 2014 car’s 544hp and 387lb-ft (524Nm) of torque.

The engine is mated to a sequential six-speed transmission, which sends power to all four wheels via a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system that features multi-plate limited-slip differentials at the front and rear. Combine all these with the VW Beetle GRC’s 2,866 lbs (1,300 kg) curb weight and you’ll understand why VW estimates the car will hit 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2 seconds flat.

VW says the extra torque of the larger engine will improve standing start performance, which is a key element in Global Rallycross racing, as well as acceleration from slow corners. Another factor was that weight equalization for the 1.6 liter engine will be removed in the future, bringing the U.S. series in line with the FIA World Rallycross series.

The 2015 VW Beetle GRC has an all-around strut-type suspension, with ZF dampers and about 9.5in (241mm) of travel to cope with the off-road portion of a rallycross course. The car has 14in (355.6mm) diameter front and 11.8in (299.7mm) rear vented disc brakes, with four-piston aluminum calipers. The 17-inch wheels are shod with 240/640-R17 Yokohama competition tires.

The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team’s driver lineup for 2015 includes Scott Speed and Tanner Foust.