The VW Beetle GSR Was Something Very Special

Classic Cars / Comments

But few people know of its existence.

The Volkswagen Beetle. It's a car that everybody knows, even if they've never had much interest in the automobile. It's an icon that catapulted the Volkswagen brand to fame the world over. Older ones are more popular and always have been, which is why the "new" Beetle was eventually canned, but before that happened, a special model was released that called to mind a special edition of the original Beetle, called the GSR.

GSR stands for "Gelb Schwarzer Renner", or "Yellow Black Racer", and the original 1973 model - limited to just 3,500 units - has become a highly sought after model for those that know their Volkswagen history.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen

The original was a sportier version of the existing model and featured bright yellow paint offset by a flat-black hood and bumpers, along with sport seats and a three-spoke steering wheel. 15-inch wheels fitted with wider tires also featured and displayed the vehicle's production number on each rim. Despite its sporty styling, it wasn't any more powerful having retained its signature flat-four motor that developed 50 horsepower and 80 lb-ft of torque. But that wasn't the point - this was a car meant to be a little more fun to drive, an affordable entry into rallying. The modern retake was also limited to 3,500 units, but the world demanded more power.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
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Thus, when the new GSR launched in 2014, its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot produced 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque - good enough for a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Setting this model apart from the regular Beetle were a black roof and mirror caps, a two-tone rear spoiler, striped decals, and GSR stickers on the doors. This car also wore 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels, while the interior boasted a special badge with the number of the example, as well as black leather upholstery with yellow contrast stitching on the seats, handbrake lever, and steering wheel. Maybe we'll see the Beetle GSR return someday as an affordable electric hot hatch.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen

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