The new Volkswagen Beetle hasn’t yet gone on sale in the UK but rumours are already circulating that a hot Beetle R version could be revealed at September’s Frankfurt motor show.
Likely to share its underpinnings with the Scirocco R — remember that the third generation of the classic Beetle is based on the same Golf platform as VW’s sports coupe — the car is likely to get a slight detune from 261bhp to around 237bhp from the same turbocharged four cylinder 2.0 litre TFSI petrol engine. It’s also likely to be front wheel drive only, through a 6-speed manual or VW’s twin clutch 6-speed DSG gearbox. This means the Super-Beetle will do without the all wheel drive system deployed by the hot Golf R — mainly to keep costs down but also because the Scirocco (as well as rivals like the Ford Focus RS and Renaultsport Megane 225) has proved that the added weight is unnecessary if you have a clever diff or effective traction management systems in place.
Still, the mooted range topper will provide a useful boost over the Beetle Turbo, currently the most powerful version with a 2.0 TFSI engine churning out 197bhp.
The cooking versions of the new Beetle reach the UK in January 2012. VW is yet to confirm the existence of the Beetle R, let alone its UK price and availability. Our guess would be a sticker of around £30,000 however, with a top speed of 155mph, 0-60mph in about 6 seconds and CO2 levels below 190g/km. It will be a few months before we find out about this and the also rumoured Beetle Cabrio, however.
The image above is of a standard 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.