New Beetle will be the latest model to get a performance makeover from VW's R division

Volkswagen is already planning to give its new Volkswagen Beetle — unveiled last week in Shanghai, New York and Berlin — an ‘R’ brand performance makeover.

With the second-generation ‘New Beetle’, VW is determined to rid the car of its feminine image. Company insiders think that making a proper performance version of the car would be the perfect way to do that. They also believe the new car already has the makings of an attractive fast coupé.

See pics of the new VW Beetle

Lower and wider than the car it replaces, the new Beetle also has a more hot hatch-like driving position. It has been engineered with what VW describes as “near class-leading structural rigidity” of 26,000Nm per degree, which should provide a solid basis for particularly precise handling.

A 2.0-litre turbo Sport version of the car has already been announced as part of the launch model line-up, producing 197bhp. But the R version should take the Beetle’s performance to another level.

Read more on the new VW Beetle

“It’s too early to discuss specifics at the moment,” a source advised, “but you could reasonably expect power and performance comparable with that of other R models like the Scirocco and Golf.”

That would mean more than 250bhp and, with a DSG gearbox, the potential for covering 0-62mph in less than 6.0sec.

Matt Saunders

See all the latest VW Beetle reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run