The Beetle R is a dream come true

Good things come to those who wait. Apparently, so do fast things. In September, we reported on the Volkswagen Beetle R concept car’s debut at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt. It’s holding a stateside coming-out party at the 2011 LA Auto Show.

Like its cousin, the high-performance Golf R, the racing-inspired features on the Beetle R are obvious. The 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels feature five triple spokes and R-design blue brake calipers, and the front bumper consists of three intakes, each highlighted in contrasting “Black High Gloss.” The outer intakes cool the brakes, while the middle intake supplies the engine with air. The Beetle R also has a spoiler up front, inspired by flat splitters found on racecars. Two sets of dual pipes make the Beetle R look like it’s going fast even when it’s standing still, and when it’s not standing still, add a sporty exhaust note. A wider stance gives the Beetle R a more aggressive look; the front and rear bumpers have been reworked and widened by 1.2 inches, while the fenders are 0.6 inches wider on either side. And we hate to see the Beetle R leave, but we love to watch it go, thanks in part to the newly redesigned aerodynamic rear bumper with air exhaust vents that are integrated with a diffuser in the lower bumper area to improve downforce. In other words, it will help keep the Beetle R grounded at high speeds, and please believe that the Beetle R loves high speeds.

Sure, the Beetle R looks great from the outside, but it’s once you get inside it that the real fun starts.  All seats are embossed with the R logo, and the dual motorsport bucket seats up front have gray nubuck leather inserts, while the back seats are upholstered in black Nappa leather. The entire instrument panel has been redesigned and boasts a central tachometer and auxiliary gauges, while the real party-starter—the gas pedal—is covered in brushed aluminum. (Editor’s note: the brake pedal, while not nearly as fun, is covered in the same material.)

See the Beetle R for yourself at the LA Auto Show. If you can’t make it to LA, don’t worry—this won’t be the last time the Beetle R makes it way to the US.


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