Wolfsburg / Frankfurt, September 13, 2011 — At Volkswagen, the letter “R” promises top-notch performance, a claim validated by the 266-hp Golf R and the 261-hp Scirocco R. In a world debut at the IAA in Frankfurt, Volkswagen is now showing a third variation of this sporty theme: the Beetle R Concept, based on the 21st Century Beetle. Like the Golf R and Scirocco R, the R version of the Beetle was also created at Volkswagen subsidiary Volkswagen R GmbH, located near Wolfsburg.
The Beetle R Concept is still a design study. Those who are familiar with the Beetle Turbo (200 hp) know that the car could offer even more performance, similar to that of the Golf R and Scirocco R.
A Beetle with juice
Visually, the Beetle R Concept, painted in “Serious Grey”, offers a glimpse of what a production version might look like. The concept is equipped with 20-inch “Talladega” aluminum-alloy wheels—the same design used on the Golf R and Scirocco R, although those cars wear 18- and 19-inch rims. R-design blue brake calipers are easy to spot through the Beetle’s wheels, which feature five triple spokes.
The designers completely reworked the front and rear bumpers, which are widened by 1.2 inches. In front, the bumper essentially consists of three air intakes, which are highlighted in contrasting “Black High Gloss”. The middle intake supplies the engine with air, while the outer two cool the brakes. The front spoiler, also painted in “Black High Gloss”, is designed as a flat splitter (with a chrome strip), just like those used in motorsports. To maintain temperature regulation of the engine within an optimal range, even under extreme conditions, vents are found on the right and left sides of the hood.
The rear bumper also has air exhaust vents that are integrated aerodynamically with a diffuser in the lower bumper area. Together with the rear spoiler—which is significantly larger than the Turbo’s—the diffuser helps create optimal downforce at the rear. A visual and acoustic highlight is the exhaust system with its two sets of dual chrome tailpipes.
On each side, the bumpers transition into free-standing fenders that are also widened by 0.6 inches per side. The side sills are styled in “Black High Gloss”; a high-end chrome trim strip is incorporated here. Also painted in “Black High Gloss” are the roof, the upper part of the trunklid connecting to it, the door mirror housings and door handles.
Super sporty interior
As is usual on R models, the interior also makes an immediate impression. In the front, the driver and passenger sit in motorsport bucket seats with what are referred to as Ergopads made of gray nubuck leather. The seats are upholstered in black Nappa leather. The R logo is embossed on the seats and the seat seams and piping are in “Space Blue”.
The “Black High Gloss” that was already used on the exterior is also found in the interior as well, used as a contrasting color for things such as the dashboard accents and decorative elements around the shift grip. The interior designers also styled the instruments to be R-specific. The instrument cluster, with its sports car-like central tachometer and the auxiliary instruments laid out above the center console are both modified here. The door sill plates are upgraded with the R logo. Meanwhile, brushed aluminum is used for all pedal caps. The fabric floor mats have blue and black double borders to match the blue-piped upholstery.