It’s reported that Volkswagen are planning on building a 2012 Beetle R with a detuned version of the Golf R engine. Due to debut at Frankfurt 2011.
However hard they tried – and they did for a while – Volkswagen never managed to make the reborn VW Beetle anything more than a novelty; a girly car with a flower vase for girly drivers.
That was enough to make the Beetle sell in almost respectable numbers in both North and South America, but it consigned VW’s retro effort to the novelty bin in Europe, where we tend to know a cynical marketing ploy from a real car.
But Volkswagen seem intent on making the 212 VW Beetle rather more credible. They’ve seen what BMW has managed with the MINI and Fiat with the 500 and they want some of that cool retro market for themselves.
So instead of pitching the new Beetle at girly girls and girly boys, VW are going all butch and it seems, if reports by Car & Driver are to be believed, that there is going to be a hot VW Beetle R in the offing, ready to bow in at Frankfurt this Autumn.
Depending on what exactly the Beetle R offers it could take a piece of the market enjoyed by cars like the Abarth 500 and MINI JCW.
It seems it’s going to get a de-tuned version of the very able 2.0 litre TFSI lump in the Golf R, detuned because without the Golf R’s 4WD (because of cost) it’s felt there will be too much torque steer with 270 horses. Seems to work in the Scirocco.
Still, A hot Beetle is an awful lot more appealing than a flower vase on the dash.