Volkswagen is officially headed into rallycross action, and here's the car that'll hit the dirt. Meet the GRC Beetle – an all-wheel-drive monster that packs "more than 560 horsepower" from its turbocharged TSI engine.

The German automaker is partnering with Andretti Autosport to launch the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, which will run two cars in the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross series. That said, the teams will actually start the season in modified Volkswagen Polo rallycross racers (cars that won the 2013 World Rally Championship), and will switch to the GRC Beetle later in the season. The Beetle will officially make its rally debut at the Summer X Games in Austin, TX.

Driving the two Volkswagen Andretti cars will be the infamous Tanner Foust in the Rockstar Energy Beetle (pictured) and Scott Speed a 7 UP-liveried car. "We are excited about our driver lineup of Tanner [Foust] and Scott [Speed]; I believe we have the best drivers in the series and will be a top contender," said Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport.

Have a look at the Rockstar GRC Beetle in our gallery above, and click below for Volkswagen's official press blast. We can't wait to see this Bug hit the road... and the dirt.
Show full PR text
VOLKSWAGEN ENTERS RALLYCROSS WITH THE BEETLE AND ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT

The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will run a 560-plus-horsepower, all-wheel- drive GRC Beetle in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series


- Team will compete initially with European rallycross-prepared Polo
- Drivers will be 2011 and 2012 GRC champion Tanner Foust and ex-F1 and NASCAR star Scott Speed
- Definitive GRC Beetle will debut at the Summer X Games in Austin, TX

Chicago, IL - Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Andretti Sports Marketing today announced the details of its 2014 rallycross program at the Chicago Auto Show. Volkswagen will partner with Andretti Autosport to form the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, running two cars in the series for drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

The team will initially compete this season with modified Polo rally cars, built on the chassis that won the 2013 World Rally Championship for drivers and manufacturers, and will switch during the season to the fearsome GRC Beetle. This all-wheel-drive rallycross car is the ultimate expression of the third-generation Beetle and will feature more than 560 horsepower from its turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine.

Rallycross is the fastest growing form of motorsports in the U.S., attracting big crowds at venues across the country as well as live TV coverage. Cars are pitted against each other and the clock in a series of heats on a closed course that's usually a mixture of dirt and pavement, with a 70-foot jump. The action is fast, it's intense, and is hugely appealing to a crossover audience of auto and live action sports fans.

"Red Bull Global Rallycross is the perfect form of motor sports for a youthful, exuberant, and growing brand in the U.S. market," said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "We're excited to partner with Andretti Autosport, one of the great names in American motor sports, and delighted that we will be running the iconic Beetle in the series."

Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport, added: "I'm thrilled to be entering the series, and especially happy about teaming with Volkswagen. We are excited about our driver lineup of Tanner [Foust] and Scott [Speed]; I believe we have the best drivers in the series and will be a top contender."

Tanner Foust, GRC champion in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up in 2013, will drive the Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle. Foust is also widely recognized for hosting the U.S. version of Top Gear, for his rally driving skills, and for his stunt driving-he holds records for distance jumping and looping the loop in a car.

Scott Speed will be racing the 7UP entry for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team. As well as being a standout in the 2013 GRC Series, winning two races in and finishing fifth overall, Speed has competed at the very pinnacle of motorsports, driving Formula 1 for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006 and 2007. He also competed in NASCAR between 2008 and 2013.

The Red Bull Global Rallycross series opens in May. The Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team will attend with a pair of Polo cars driven by Foust and Speed. The definitive GRC Beetle will appear at the X Games in June in Austin, TX.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Go2Fast
      • 10 Months Ago
      I think it is funny that Tanner is driving this car since he *always* gives Rut a hard time on Top Gear USA for driving VW's and girly cars!
      Helmi
      • 10 Months Ago
      wait for this car to show performance at rally championship. Drive to the power of automotive - autopurple.com
      SpacemanSpiff
      • 10 Months Ago
      Not sure I'm totally on board with this 2/3 fender extension thing I've been seeing more of lately. IDK, maybe there's a functional reason for it, but it looks lazy and unfinished to me. And everything getting kicked up by the tires is now going to be showering the side of the car.
        Christopher Anderson
        • 10 Months Ago
        @SpacemanSpiff
        It gives the air that builds up in the wheel well somewhere to go, rather than making a high pressure area right behind the wheel. Helps aero and probably brake cooling. All of the GT cars (911 RSR, C7.R, etc.) use variations of it, so it must work.
        rahhh
        • 10 Months Ago
        @SpacemanSpiff
        rallying isnt for looks..
      EZen
      • 10 Months Ago
      I just don't get VW anymore. You take the one car that's designed for women (and selling) and you try to make it masculine thereby competing with cars like the Mustang and Camaro. You made it less appealing to all. Now, you go to a rally car maker and make your VW Beetle a "rally car" but really just an advertising exercise. However, nobody is going to buy a cross-dressing Beetle with FWD just because you've made an insane AWD rallycross car. If you really wanted to shake things up, bring the Scirocco R to American and build a Scirocco WRX (World Rally Cross, not Championship) to debut it. People would eat up the more aggressive and well-equipped Scirocco over the ever more boring Golf.
        llee
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZen
        VW has the tradition of competing with their own products, like having Audi but still market the VW Phaeton. Maybe they have to start making a rear wheel drive bug that mounts the engine in the back before they remember that's a Porsche...
        Go2Fast
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZen
        This beetle design was aimed for the guys this time around. They tried to make it more masculine to appeal to the 20-30's male shoppers.
          EZen
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Go2Fast
          My point is that there's no reason for that. Anecdotally, I don't know any males who were *specifically* looking for something more masculine and went with a VW Beetle. In fact, I don't see hardly any of these Beetles at all but saw quite a few women with the old one because it appealed to them. It's a question of marketing. You have an under-served market like female drivers who are quickly starting to make more and more choices for themselves. The whole "I don't need a man to come with me to the dealer" is a trend, not a fad. The VW Beetle even sold exactly as pictured (though it NEVER will) still wouldn't sell well considering it'd be expensive and still not very appealing. They just need to trick out the Scirocco R and bring it to the US. That's something that IS appealing, has more masculine lines than any of their current cars and could actually challenge things like the Mazdaspeed3, Subaru WRX, Mustang, Camaro, etc.
        bobbylightbryant
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZen
        Without offending the very emotional and sensitive mustang and camero owners, I always thought the target audience of the mustang and camero were females. When they add the GT/SS etc. then the audience changes to males. I do love the beetle and I would have to tint the windows dark but I still like it.
      Tony Akinremi
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wonder if this is going to be Rear-Engined like the Polo Rally cars. Would've nice to have a 500Hp All Wh-Drive Production Model.
      holophonic
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well this changes everything. With those specs you could paint it yellow and put some flowers on the dash... I'd drive it.
      KAG
      • 10 Months Ago
      Nice but no wide body?
      bullitt2605
      • 10 Months Ago
      Needs a bigger wing the they can call it the Daytona Beetle.
      Jaybird248
      • 10 Months Ago
      Why it's the return of Herbie! They should paint a big number 53 on it.
      mr_bradleys
      • 10 Months Ago
      What VW needs to do is take this car, make the wing a bit smaller and make it street legal. I would totally buy this as a Beetle Rally or Beetle R if they made one. I think VW would be surprised if they actually brought nice performance cars over here
      wsbfan
      • 10 Months Ago
      Wow VW is so dumb. This was the perfect opportunity to launch the Polo in North America with a bang. At least use the opportunity to market the Golf R. The Beetle is not a good fit for Rallycross.
    • Load More Comments