Rallycross Beetle packs a 410kW punchComment on this story
Herndon, Virginia - We reckon Herbie would have been proud of this real-life racing Beetle, which will run later this season in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, driven by Tanner Foust of Top Gear USA and former Formula One driver Scott Speed.
Speed has already won two Rallycross races this season in an American-built VW Polo, but the GRC Beetle - built from the ground up as rallycross machine by Volkswagen Motorsport under the direction of Jost Capito - is major step up.
Capito has squeezed an incredible 410kW out of its 1.6-litre turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder TSI engine, driving a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system with multiplate limited-slip differentials at both ends through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
It has strut-type suspension all round, with long-stroke ZF dampers providing about 230mm of travel to deal with the off-road section of a rallycross course, and runs 355mm front and 300mm rear vented discs and four-piston aluminium callipers inside 17" rims shod with 240/60 Yokohama competition rubber.
With its huge rear wing, widebody flares and aggressive front spoiler the GRC Beetle is 4288mm long and 1821mm wide, and it's right on the Rallycross minimum weight limit of 1212kg.
Given its insane power output, light weight and all-wheel drive traction, Capito expects it to hit 100km/h off the start line in a fraction more than two seconds. No wonder Mr Foust and Mr Speed are looking forward to playing with their new toy.