Volkswagen's R lineup currently consists of the Golf R in North America, and the too-cool-for-school Scirocco R in Europe. It hasn't exactly been a secret as to which VW would next get the R treatment; the German manufacturer reportedly confirmed that a hotter Beetle would be coming to the US. That announcement, in August 2011, was followed up by a production-ready Beetle R Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

After some wait, we're finally seeing spy shots of the Beetle R in Germany. The mule shown in the images here is wearing the R-Line bodykit, which adds sportier front and rear fascias, side skirts, dual exhausts and a not-so-subtle spoiler. Topped off with Volkswagen's traditional, five-spoke R wheels, we'd be just fine with the Beetle R coming to market as is.

Our spy photographer, though, seems to think that the production R will get even sportier sheetmetal, which we take to mean the more assertive look shown on the Frankfurt show car. Larger intakes on the front fascia, a bigger rear spoiler and vertical vents on the rear bumper could all be upcoming. Whether a production model will include the concept's polished wheels (R cars haven't traditionally embraced that look), vented hood and the quad-tipped exhausts remains to be seen.

Sporty brakes with bright, red calipers give the matte gray Beetle some visual flair, while our spy photographers claim the 2.0-liter mill under the mule's curved hood will generate the same 296 horsepower that's coming with the next Golf R. Our spies report a deep exhaust note from this uprated engine, too.

Expect the Volkswagen Beetle R to hit dealers near the end of 2014. As for a debut, it will likely be no earlier than Geneva and no later than Paris.


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  • 55 Comments
      daewootech
      • 1 Year Ago
      I dont know why but I want to see this with a 911-esque whale tail and possibly some after market extra wide body fenders.
        daewootech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @daewootech
        i found this, maybe it could be done to the new beetle? http://www.powerful-cars.com/images/vw/1973-typ-1-oettinger-4.jpg
      tiguan2.0
      • 1 Year Ago
      AWD Beetle R. Yes please
      theautojunkie
      • 1 Year Ago
      ....the "Beetle" has come a long way and these are morphing into some great looking cars. What it would have to offer as an option if I owned one-Syncro AWD....
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's actually pretty sick. Most exciting Beetle since the RSI.
      Azazel
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love it.
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      love it!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
          theautojunkie
          • 1 Year Ago
          ....even so Aaron, make mine a Syncro version....
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          Lachmund
          • 1 Year Ago
          just beause soem people don't have a clue doesn't make his opinion wrong.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
      csrecord
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lipstick on a pig.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think they were trying WAY TOO hard to try and make a Beetle look masculine. Instead it just reminds me of a bulldyke, masculinzing a clearly feminine chassis.
        juststudent
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        I think it looks nice and clean, doesn't feel overdone. But I'm wondering what is purpose of beetle in VW lineup? It's not cheap (a position taken by Up!) and I think it's in same class as Golf (as hatchback) and Scirocco (as coupe). Just a simple demographic targeting or what?
          Mr E
          • 1 Year Ago
          @juststudent
          I have to admit I really like the new new Beetle. However, I kind of agree -- it's basically a rebodied Golf, with less practicality but more style (regardless of if it's to your tastes or not, that is). It would be a lot more unique if it essentially replaced the Up or lived on a mythical RWD chassis like the old ones.
      thecowfers
      • 1 Year Ago
      Exhaust in the center please. What about AWD?
      vi_per
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is that the Cayman GTS?
        theautojunkie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vi_per
        ....No, but it's $20,000 cheaper....
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vi_per
        [blocked]
      Monthra 77
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Courtney's, Kaitlyn's, Stacie's and Ashley's of the world will be lining the ditches and wrapping themselves around trees trying to drive one of these to the local community colleges within seconds of driving off the lot after daddy writes the check.
        drew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Monthra 77
        Ah, stereotypes. Original.
          Monthra 77
          • 1 Year Ago
          @drew
          Stereotypes are rooted in reality. The Beetle is bought primarily by women and homosexual men.
        GR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Monthra 77
        The stereotype applied to the first gen New Beetle. The new one has more masculine appeal, which was something VW was going for. I have seen more men in this new one than the previous one. Also, I doubt college girls are the type to go for a performance version of anything. They are more concerned about fuel economy and cost of ownership than 0 to 60 times and horsepower. This performance version will cater to men who want a performance VW but with some VW heritage and iconic styling. While I like the GTI, it doesn't turn my head quite like the New Beetle. The Beetle is an automotive icon and this R version is offering performance to come with owning an icon. To prove that automotive stereotypes don't apply to all models, consider Scion and the FR-S. The stereotype (based in truth) is that many older, baby boomers picked up the brand because Scions were cheap, reliable, and helped them appear hip and young which is apparently a major concern for many at that age these days. Many xA's and xB's were bought by 50 to 65 year olds than 16 to 30 year olds. However, this does not apply to the FR-S. The FR-S is too much of a car for old folks trying to look young. With it's low ride height and useless rear seats, it's too hardcore for older folk going for a young person's car. The people who buy them are younger, car-guy type males whom Toyota was aiming for. I expect the same for this performance version of the Beetle.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Monthra 77
        [blocked]
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