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.
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.
“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.