Volkswagen adds another dollop of masculinity to its Beetle with the Frankfurt debut of the Beetle R Concept. Painted in “Serious Grey,” and fitted with bright 20-inch “Talladega” alloy wheels, the high-performance derivative is appealing.
Under the hood of the front-wheel-drive coupe is VW’s familiar turbocharged 2.0 TSI four-cylinder mated to a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The automaker hasn’t announced an official power rating, but we suspect it is making about 240 horsepower. That’s a bit less than the output of the same powerplant in the Golf R and Scirocco R, but we aren’t complaining.
Check out the oversize front brakes, complete with hard-to-miss-blue four-piston calipers, and the widened front and rear bumpers. In addition to the lower front splitter, there are three prominent intakes, each with its own role (the middle supplies the engine with oxygen, while the outer two contribute to cooling the brakes). There are also ventilation slots in the hood, to bleed excess heat from the engine bay. At the rear, there is a unique tail fascia with two sets of dual chrome tailpipes.
Inside, the deep bucket sport seats are upholstered in Nappa leather with an embossed logo on the backrest. Contrasting colors add interest to the dashboard and gear shift grip, and the R-specific instrumentation includes auxiliary gauges to keep things in check.
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