2012 volkswagen beetle
2012 Volkswagen Beetle - Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is fresh off its global unveiling earlier today, and the good-looking hatch appears to be dead serious about appealing to the masses. Volkswagen will offer the Beetle with diesel and petrol powerplants and a convertible is expected to arrive for the 2013 model year.

Good stuff, but what about red-blooded enthusiasts? The German automaker could have simply pointed out the availability of the 2.0T model as the driver's Beetle, but Team VW apparently has bigger and hopefully better plans. Car and Driver is reporting that VW has officially announced that a high-performance Beetle R will be available for U.S. consumption. C/D points out that the last Beetle also came in a hi-po RSi variant, though the hatchback was a Euro-only affair and it was a complete bust.

We're more hopeful for the Beetle R, if only because the Beetle is more attractive and far more masculine in appearance than its predecessor. It could help, too, if VW offers the high-output 2.0T as the powertrain of choice. Under the hood of the Golf R, the boosted powerplant cranks out 265 horsepower, which should be more than enough motivation to make the Beetle R feel like a hot hatch star.


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[Source: Car and Driver]