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560hp Volkswagen Rallycross Beetle Announced for GRC

OEM and Andretti Autosport tap Tanner Foust & Scott Speed to pilot race machines

Feb 6, 2014
Photographer: VW
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Volkswagen Rallycross Beetle Details:

  • 560hp, AWD Beetle built for 2014 Global Rallycross Championship
  • Drivers will be Tanner Foust and Scott Speed
  • June debut at 2014 Summer X Games in Austin, TX
  • Team will compete initially with European rallycross-prepared VW Polo

It’s no secret that the modern Volkswagen Beetle has historically appealed more to female buyers than male ones, and the automaker has been trying to change that. It seems with every new iteration of the half-shelled compact, there’s usually been some sort of sports package or other gimmick to give the appearance of “manliness.” Today’s news out of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show may be the biggest leap yet for VW (pardon the pun), as it gets set to back a Beetle-based works team in one of the hottest motorsports on the planet: rallycross.

2014 Volkswagen GRC Beetle front end Photo 2/11   |   Volkswagen GRC Beetle

VW is taking the Beetle to the rough-and-tumble world of fender rubbing and short, fast-paced heats, of mixed road surfaces and jumps, of beating the clock before getting beat by other competitors. Volkswagen of America, with Andretti Sports Marketing, revealed the details of its 2014 rallycross program, which will feature two cars in the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC), to be piloted by drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

The team will start off with modified VW Polo rally cars before switching to the Beetle starting Round 2, at the X Games, this June in Austin, Texas. Each custom Beetle will floss all-wheel-drive and in excess of 560 horsepower.

Rockstar energy ford fiesta st taanner foust GRC las vegas 2013 Photo 9/11   |   Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta St Taanner Foust GRC Las Vegas 2013

As far as driving talent, the deck is stacked in favor of the team, with stunt man and TV host Foust already having two GRC series titles under his belt with Ford. He’ll bring his Rockstar Energy backing to his VW ride, while Speed will be racing the 7UP entry for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team. Speed picked up a pair of GRC round wins himself just last season.

2014 Volkswagen GRC Beetle front three quarters 02 Photo 10/11   |   Volkswagen GRC Beetle

With factory support and two of the best drivers in the field, it’s entirely likely the team could find itself on the podium – repeatedly. But is it enough to make the Beetle less of an effeminate car? Let us know below.

Volkswagen GRC Beetle front view with headlight Photo 11/11   |   Volkswagen GRC Beetle
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Bob Hernandez
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