VW Beetle GRC rallycross car makes its debut with 1.6 TSI engine and 544 hp

Article by Christian A., on June 20, 2014

The VW Beetle GRC is the latest rallycross car that will be driven later this season in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. The vehicle, which will join the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder TSI turbocharged and intercooled engine that generates an astonishing 544 hp.

The engine is bolted to a sequential six-speed transmission that delivers the power through a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system that features multiplate limited-slip differentials at the front and rear. As a result, it zooms from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.1 seconds.

In addition, the car features an all-around strut-type suspension with ZF dampers and about 9.1 inches of travel to cope with the rigors of the off-road portion of a rallycross course.

Behind the 17-inch wrapped in 240/640-R17 Yokohama competition tires we fund 14.0-inch diameter front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, with four-piston aluminum calipers. According to Volkswagen, the Beetle GRC has a total weight of just 2668 pounds (1,210), it is 168.8 inches (4.28 m) long and 71.7 inches (1.82 m) wide.

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport director, said: “After Volkswagen of America’s impressive start on the rallycross scene with the Polo, the launch of the new Beetle GRC rallycross car represents the next major milestone. The Beetle boasts a unique appearance and state-of-the-art technology. It will sweep fans off their feet.”

Volkswagen is definitely one of the most recognizable and independent automotive designs in the world. As such, it could be impossible to reinvent it. But design chiefs Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Brand) think it is possible to reinvent the design of the Beetle– by understanding both the product and the brand and thereby designing a new original.

Taking on thing challenge, the design team for creating a new original Beetle took off under the guidance of Bischoff. Nonetheless, designers found the challenge both thrilling and inspiring. Knowing that the goal was to develop the original Beetle profile much more than on the 1998 New Beetle, designers made it a priority to give the next Beetle some dynamic proportions. Interestingly, quite a few members of the design teams actually own air-cooled Beetles, which has become a cult car among younger designers at Volkswagen.

These events, as well as many others, led to the final look of the 2011 Beetle, considered as a car of the modern times with a design that pays tribute to the automotive seed of the Volkswagen Group. Amazingly, placing the first Beetle and the new Beetle side and side with light shining over their roofs would make it apparent that the lines of their rear ends are nearly identical.

When compared to the 1998 New Beetle, the 2011 Beetle has nothing in common with its predecessor – it is bolder, more masculine and more dynamic. Bischoff remarked that the newest Beetle is defined by a clean, assured and assertive sportiness. Aside from having a lower profile, the new Beetle is wider and has a longer bonnet. Its front windscreen has been given a steeper and it has been shifted backwards, resulting to a new dynamism, Bischoff explained.

Incredibly, the 2011 Beetle has thrown away the three-semi-circle geometry -- front wing, rear wing and domed roof -- that defined the 1998 model. Its roof profile is now flowing lower and seems to continue the styling of the Ragster concept car unveiled in Detroit in 2005.

Press Release

DEFINITIVE BEETLE GRC RACECAR TO DEBUT AT VOLKSWAGEN RALLYCROSS D.C. EVENT

With 544 horsepower, the Beetle GRC promises to be an even more competitive proposition than the Polos driven by Scott Speed and Tanner Foust

Herndon, VA - The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team today unveiled the definitive Beetle GRC rallycross car. The Beetle will run later this season in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship, driven by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

The team enters the third round of the season, Volkswagen Rallycross D.C., with two victories for Scott Speed driving the No. 7 7UP Volkswagen Polo. Both he and Foust are stoked by the prospect of the Beetle, which features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder TSI® turbocharged and intercooled engine making 544 horsepower. "The Polo has already proved super-competitive," said Speed, "and we are really looking forward to racing a car that has been engineered specifically by Volkswagen Motorsport for GRC competition." Foust added: "I know I can't wait to race the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle. There's no cooler looking car in the series."

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport director, said: "After Volkswagen of America's impressive start on the rallycross scene with the Polo, the launch of the new Beetle GRC rallycross car represents the next major milestone. The Beetle boasts a unique appearance and state-of-the-art technology. It will sweep fans off their feet."

This rallycross car is the ultimate expression of the third-generation Beetle. Designed and engineered from the outset as a GRC car, it features a sequential six-speed transmission, with a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system that features multiplate limited-slip differentials at the front and rear.

The car uses an all-around strut-type suspension, with ZF dampers and about 9.1 inches of travel to cope with the rigors of the off-road portion of a rallycross course. The car has 14.0-inch diameter front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, with four-piston aluminum calipers. The 17-inch wheels are shod with 240/640-R17 Yokohama competition tires.

The Beetle cuts quite a dash with its outsize rear wing, widebody fenders, and aggressive front fascia. Overall, the car is 168.8 inches long and 71.7 inches wide, and has to weigh in at a minimum of 2668 pounds, per series regulations. With this combination of low weight, high horsepower, and all-wheel-drive traction, the Beetle GRC is predicted to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in an incredibly quick 2.1 seconds.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 640 independent U.S. dealers.

About Andretti Autosport

Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in Indy Lights and Pro Mazda championships. In 2013 the team announced intent to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross starting in 2014. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit AndrettiAutosport.com.

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Topics: vw, vw beetle, rally car

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