Latest VW Beetle GSR Pays Tribute To Its Predecessor

VW-Beetle-GSR-4[2]Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen introduced a new version of the Beetle, called the GSR.

This model is made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Beetle GSR, which was touted as the “sportiest Beetle ever made.”

So, to make the new Beetle GSR sportier, it comes equipped with a turbo-charged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder motor that produces 210-hp. Power is fed to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox. According to VW, this model can race from 0-100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds, and will top out at 240 km/h. That is pretty impressive.

VW-Beetle-GSR-9[2]The styling also has been upgraded to go hand in hand with the performance. You get lovely 19-inch “Tornado” rims, some extra racy graphics and the classic yellow/black paint scheme (you can also buy one painted platinum/grey).

Like the original, only 3,500 examples will be made, but I’m not sure if any are destined for Canada (I hope it is). No pricing info is available at the moment.

While this new Beetle GSR sounds like an impressive piece of kit, I am still hoping that VW will once again make a version of what I know was actually the sportiest Beetle of all time, the RSi.

The 2001 Beetle RSi was a truly wild machine. It had a 3.2-liter, VR6 motor that produced 225-hp. 0-100 km/h takes only 6.4 seconds and it tops out at 250 km/h. I bet you’re thinking, nice but not all that special. new_beetle_rsi_serie250_01But it gets better, the RSi also had an active all-wheel drive system (4Motion) and a six-speed manual gearbox. Plus, this car was set up to tackle race tracks, not just town centers, so everything from steering, suspension and brakes were beefed up. Looked fast too, thanks to aggressive bumpers and a massive rear spoiler.

It is rare too, only 250 examples of the RSi were made, most of which are in Europe (and a few in the Middle-East). To this day, there has not been a wilder Beetle, and I hope VW will once again do another Beetle RSi. The world is just a better place with cars like these.

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