Chicago, Illinois - Volkswagen will make its debut in US motorsport this season - with a Beetle!

But this is no ordinary Beetle - it's an all-wheel drive rallycross car with a direct-injection TSI turbopetrol four kicking out a monstrous 410kW.

Volkswagen has joined forces with Andretti Autosport to form the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, which will run two cars in the 2013 US Global Rallycross series for drivers Tanner Foust (of Top Gear USA fame) and Scott Speed.


The team will initially compete this season with modified Polo rally cars, built on the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship Drivers' and Constructors' titles, but will switch during the season to the fearsome GRC Beetle which was first shown in public at the Chicago motor show but is not yet competition-ready .

Rallycross is the fastest growing form of motorsport in the United States, attracting big crowds at venues across the country as well as live TV coverage. Cars are pitted against each other and the clock in a series of heats on a closed course that's usually a mixture of gravel and tar with jumps of more than 20 metres.