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.