At the Chicago Auto Show today Volkswagen showed off its new 2014 Beetle GSR, a special edition of the Beetle that pays homage to the car's past. The first of many special editions that look to retro themes, the GSR will go on sale this fall.
Forty years ago a Beetle GSR which stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner or “Yellow Black Racer” was built with only 3500 copies in the run. Like the car back then, the 2014 Beetle GSR comes in yellow and black. Under the hood is a bit more however, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 210 horsepower.
With this new car, Volkswagen has re-interpreted the 1970s GSR for the modern era. The bodyshell of the 1973 Beetle was painted yellow, while the hood, trunk lid, and bumpers were finished in matte black. The look was rounded out by black trim strips underneath the side windows and black rocker panels.
Today's GSR has R-Line bumpers, a hood with black graphics, and black trunklid, roof, and mirror caps. The new car has yellow/black stripes with “GSR” lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. Included are 19” wheels. The new GSR also features black-painted brake calipers.
Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather sport steering wheel. The new GSR is a lot more sophisticated, however. The black-trimmed leather sport seats and high-grip leather steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching, for example.
Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather handbrake lever, and black floor mats with yellow embroidery. A special steering wheel badge is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500).
The new GSR will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. The GSR is standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic transmission will be an option.
Just like its predecessor, only 3500 GSR models will be made. Volkswagen says that more than half of those will be sold in the U.S. Since the GSR is based on the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof and Sound model, it comes comprehensively equipped with the Fender Premium Audio System, a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and LED license-plate lighting.
Inside are heated front seats, three-color ambient lighting, aluminum-alloy pedals, and a cool instrument pod with three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge. Pricing for the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR will be announced closer to launch.