Volkswagen is taking the Beetle and going racing with it. The automaker used the Chicago Auto Show as a platform to announce that it will be competing in the upcoming Global Rally Cross season. In conjunction with Andretti Racing, the VW team will run two cars with drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. Initially the team will actually run GRC-prepped Polo race cars before switching to the Beetles after a handful of races.
The Global Rally Cross kicks off its season in Barbados, and the GRC Beetle is expected to be ready by the time the series rolls into Austin for the X-Games. Volkswagen has stated that the cars are making over 560 horsepower, which is rather awesome when you realize that’s coming from a 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI motor. Power goes out to all four wheels, which is necessary since the course involves both tarmac and gravel sections. Additionally, the suspension has to be ready to handle 70-foot gap jumps.
This is a Beetle we can get behind…
One thing that’s rather interesting regarding this specific Beetle in the photos is that it is not the actual race car. It is however a Beetle sitting on a Golf R chassis and boasting real running gear and a mighty motor. We know we won’t be able to steal some seat time from Foust’s actual race machine, but maybe we can
con convince VW into letting us borrow this wicked little machine.
Regardless of how you feel about the Beetle, you must admit that it’s pretty cool to see them used for motorsports once again. On top of that, the GRC season should actually be quite interesting due to all of the manufacturers that are entering. Subaru, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, Mini, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, and Chevrolet all have cars running in the series.