Volkswagen has revealed the limited-edition Beetle GSR at the Chicago Auto Show, the most powerful Bug in production now. “GSR” might give off some Japanese vibes, but it actually stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner or “Yellow Black Racer” in this case.
GSR is also an old Bug name – 40 years ago, a sporty Beetle based on the 1303S was introduced. Just 3,500 units of the GSR were built then, and the 2014 Beetle GSR will follow the same limited run. Over half of the 3,500 cars will be sold in America, however.
Looking striking in yellow and black, the GSR debuts an uprated version of the EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged TSI engine that generates 210 hp and 280 Nm of torque. The standard 2.0 TSI makes 200 hp, so it’s a 10 horsepower increase. 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) is done in 6.6 seconds.
Yellow and black is the theme, so the fast Bug gets stripes with “GSR” lettering, a large rear spoiler and black-painted brake calipers. The wheels look big, and they are – 19-inch “Tornado” alloys with 235/40 tyres. It’s interesting to note that the original GSR wore 15-inch steel wheels and 175-section rubber, the standard for sporty cars back then!
Inside, you’ll find leather on the sport seats and steering wheel, with contrasting yellow stitching. Other changes include an R-Line dash pad, GSR shift lever, leather handbrake lever, and floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition serial number.
The GSR comes with a Fender audio system, panoramic sunroof, keyless access with push start, bi-xenons with LED DRLs, heated front seats, Bluetooth, three-colour ambient lighting and three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with stopwatch and a boost gauge, among other things.
The limited-edition Volkswagen Beetle GSR will reach American showrooms in the fall as a 2014 model, and pricing will be announced closer to launch. In Malaysia, the VW Beetle was launched in September 2012, before VGM added a 2.0 TSI variant two months later.