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2015 Volkswagen Beetle R

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At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Beetle R concept as the preview to a sportier and more powerful version of the Beetle. Now, two years later, the VW finally started testing the Beetle R, and our spy photographers managed to catch a mule testing on German roads.

The new Beetle R will likely be powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-banger found in the 2014 Golf R , putting its output at about 300 horsepower. The engine will be mated to a four-wheel-drive system for maximum launch traction. With this engine and drivetrain in tow, we estimate a 5.5-second run to 60 mph for the Beetle R

The mule caught testing today wears just the optional R-Line package, but we expect the production version to look a little more aggressive when it hits the market in late 2014.

The Beetle R will also inherit the 18-inch wheels and large disc brakes from the Golf R. There will also be a new exhaust system with dual chrome tailpipes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle R.

Spy shots

Volkswagen Beetle R
Volkswagen Beetle R
Volkswagen Beetle R

The Beetle R caught testing today by our spy photographers is just a mule equipped with the optional R-Line package, and we anticipate the actual model looking even more aggressive.

For the production version, we expect to see a sportier and more aggressive look, with a motorsport-inspired front bumper, larger air intakes, an air vent on the hood, additional side skirts and a discreet rear wing.

Also, the production version will get a new exhaust system with dual chrome tailpipes.

Concept

Volkswagen Beetle R Concept

The Beetle R Concept was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. When compared to a base Beetle, the R Concept featured a completely redesigned front and rear bumper, a pretty cool "Serious Gray" color combined with contrasting “Black High Gloss".

VW also updated the interior with motorsport shell seats upholstered in black Nappa leather, a specially designed dashboard and of course numerous "R" logo.

Competitors

Mini John Cooper Works GP

Mini John Cooper Works GP

If the Beetle R actually hits the 300-horsepower mark, then it will leave its competition in its dust — in terms of overall power, at least. As we all know, it’s not all about power though, as lower weight can drastically improve performance numbers. The Mini John Cooper Works GP, for example, has a serious weight advantage: 2,612 pounds versus 2,987 pounds on a standard Beetle.

The Mini GP is powered by a a heavily modified 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 218 horsepower. The JCW GP sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 150 mph.

Fiat 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarth

The 500 Abarth checks in with even less power, with its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.

The Abarth 500’s 2,512-pound curb weight is lower than the Mini JCW GP, but it is still significantly slower: 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.



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