Last year's Beetle GRC packed a 1.6-liter turbo four good for an astonishing 544 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque, but the new one does one better: it now features a 2.0-liter turbo four good for 553 hp and 465 lb-ft. That's right – in a Beetle. It's also got ZF dampers, 9.5 inches of suspension travel, 14-inch front brake discs with four-piston calipers packed into 17-inch wheels and, of course, all-wheel drive. The result? 0-60 in – wait for it – two seconds flat (or thereabouts). It's geared low so it'll only top out at around 125 miles per hour, but that's all it needs for the short tracks on which it's designed to compete.
Foust and Speed will be driving this beast for Andretti Autosport in the 2015 championship that kicks off at the end of May in Ft. Lauderdale. Both have quite the act to follow as Foust won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and former F1 driver Speed won three rounds last season to finish third in the standings.
Tanner Foust and Scott Speed will contest the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship with a pair of 2.0-liter Beetles
Indianapolis, IN (April 29th, 2015) - After a strong performance in its inaugural season, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team is ready to challenge for this year's driver and manufacturer titles in the Global Rallycross Championship. In 2015, the team will be on the attack with two Beetle GRC race cars, which debuted in the final races of 2014.
This rallycross car is the ultimate expression of the third-generation Beetle. Designed and engineered from the outset as a GRC car, it features a sequential six-speed transmission, with a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system that features multiplate limited-slip differentials at the front and rear.
For the 2015 season, the team has chosen to change the engine specification from the car that ran in selected rounds of the 2014 series. In place of that car's 1.6-liter turbocharged and intercooled TSI® four-cylinder engine, there is now a 2.0-liter TSI engine that produces 553 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, compared to 544 hp and 387 lb-ft for the 2014 car. Volkswagen believes that the extra torque of the larger engine will be important for standing start performance, which is a key element in Global Rallycross racing, as well as acceleration from slow corners. Another factor was that weight equalization for the 1.6 liter engine will be removed in the future, moving the U.S. series in line with the FIA World Rallycross series.
The car uses an all-around strut-type suspension, with ZF dampers and about 9.5 inches of travel to cope with the rigors of the off-road portion of a rallycross course. The car has 14.0-inch diameter front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, with four-piston aluminum calipers. The 17-inch wheels are shod with 240/640-R17 Yokohama competition tires.
The Beetle is highly distinctive, thanks to its outsize rear wing, widebody fenders, and aggressive front fascia. Overall, the car is 168.8 inches long and 71.7 inches wide, and weighs in at 2866 pounds. With this combination of low weight, high horsepower, and all-wheel-drive traction, the Beetle GRC is predicted to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 2.0 seconds.
Scott Speed will be returning to the team after recording three victories in the 2014 season and earning third in the 2014 driver's championship. Prior to rallycross, Speed competed in Formula 1 in 2006 and 2007, and NASCAR between 2008 and 2013.
2014 GRC fan favorite Tanner Foust will again be racing the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle GRC. Foust, GRC champion in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up in 2013, is also widely recognized for his rally driving skills, his stunt driving, and hosting the U.S. version of "Top Gear".
"We are very much looking forward to the start of the GRC season with the Beetle," said Jost Capito, Motorsport Director, Volkswagen. "The 2015 Beetle GRC has been further developed, based on all our experience we gained with the brand new Beetle last year. We are looking forward to a serious title challenge with Scott Speed and Tanner Foust in 2015 and we are sure that the Beetles will be real fan favorites again."
The 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship schedule is the largest to date, featuring races at eight unique tracks with double headers at select venues:
May 31: Ft Lauderdale, FL
June 20: Daytona, FL (I)
June 21: Daytona, FL (II)
July 5: United States Military Base
July 25: Detroit, MI (I)
July 26: Detroit, MI (II)
August 15: Washington, DC
September 12: Los Angeles, CA (I)
September 13: Los Angeles, CA (II)
October 3: Barbados (I)
October 4: Barbados (II)
November 4: Las Vegas, NV
The NBC broadcast schedule will be released at a later date. For tickets and further event information, visit: http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/events/
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers.
About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport boasts a wide racing portfolio rooted in tradition and designed for success. Together with Andretti Formula E and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Championship, along with entries in the FIA Formula E Championship and Global Rallycross. The company boasts four IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008, 2009), one Pro Mazda championship (2013) and one USF2000 championship (2010) and has captured victory at the famed Indianapolis 500 three times (2005, 2007, 2014). To share in the Andretti story, please visit online at AndrettiAutosport.com or AndrettiTV.com and follow along on Twitter via @FollowAndretti and @AndrettiFE.
2015 Volkswagen Beetle GRC Technical Specifications
Type Turbocharged and intercooled in-line four-cylinder, mounted transversely in front of the front axle
Displacement 2,000 cc
Power output 553 hp at 7,800 rpm
Torque 465 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm
Bore/stroke 86.0 mm x 86.0 mm
Air restrictor 45 mm (FIA/GRC regulation)
Engine control unit Bosch
Gearbox Sequential six-speed racing transmission
Final drive Permanent four-wheel drive with fixed drive between the front and rear axles, multi-plate limited-slip differentials front and rear
Clutch Hydraulically actuated ZF triple-disc sintered metal
Front/rear MacPherson struts, lower control arms, ZF dampers
Suspension travel approx. 9.5 inches front and rear
Steering Servo-assisted rack and pinion
Braking system Vented 14.0-in front and 11.8-in rear disc brakes, four piston aluminum brake calipers
Wheels 8 x 17 inch
Tyres 240/640-R17 Yokohama competition tires
Build FIA and GRC-controlled reinforced steel body
Dimensions and weight
Length/width/height 168.8 x 71.7 x 55.3 in
Track width 63.8 in
Wheelbase 99.6 in
Minimum weight 2866 lb
Acceleration 0–60 mph in approx. 2.0 seconds
Top speed Up to approx. 125 mph (depending on gear ratio)
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.