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 2011 VW Beetle R

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jamesy
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PostSubject: 2011 VW Beetle R   Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:30 am

The Beetle R concept has taken a step closer to production reality after crossing the pond for its Stateside debut at the LA show. First shown as a pure concept at Frankfurt earlier in the year the idea of a hot Beetle has obviously gone down well and a VW insider told us that, quote, "if I were a betting man" he'd be happy putting money on it becoming a reality.

There have been super hot Beetles before of course, the Golf R32-based, previous generation Beetle RSI we drove recently in our Forgotten Hot Hatches grouptest giving the old-shape Beetle (well, new-old shape) real bite. These were rare beasts but the new Beetle R would be a proper production model to sit alongside its Golf and Scirocco equivalents.

As such it would most likely run the previous generation EA113 2.0 TSI turbo engine used in the Golf R, Scirocco R, SEAT Leon Cupra R and Audi S3. In front-wheel drive applications this delivers 265hp and given that the Mexican plant where the Beetle is built is currently configured for this it's safe to assume the Beetle R will be front-driven like the Scirocco R rather than four-wheel drive like the Golf R.

Does my bum look 30mm wider in this? Er...
Does my bum look 30mm wider in this? Er...
30mm wider than the standard Beetle, the R concept boasts 20-inch Talledega alloys similar to those fitted to its Golf and Scirocco equivalents. Blue brake callipers, another R trademark, are also included. Bonnet vents up front and a big spoiler out back are among the new features but the overall effect is, in keeping with the R ethos, relatively discreet. Whether the fixed racing seats and dash-top trio of gauges make production is another matter.

With the TT as well the Beetle R would be battling for a fairly narrow niche among in-house rivals, let alone on the wider market, and pricing and positioning will be crucial. With a manual Scirocco R costing 29,745 and the equivalent three-door Golf R 31,420 the Beetle R would probably slot in between this and the 35,605 Audi TT S.



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