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Volkswagen Beetle R Concept at LA Show, production likely

Volkswagen has unveiled the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. This is the concept’s North American debut, after being originally shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year.

As we know, the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept is a more muscular version of the new Volkswagen Beetle. It features pumped wheels arches front and rear, wider bumper bars (by 30mm), wider rear guards (by 15mm), and various vents and ducts.

The Volkswagen Beetle R Concept also rides on 20-inch five-spoke Talladega alloy wheels (similar to those seen on the Volkswagen Golf R) hiding blue brake calipers, as well as sports lowered suspension.

Powertrain details for the R Concept are fairly vague, however, Volkswagen hints at a similar powertrain as the one seen in the Golf R. In that, it uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder developing 199kW of power (188kW for Australian-specification).

Although the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept is just a concept, Autocar in the UK has managed to snag a very promising quote from Volkswagen that it will go into production. Volkswagen America boss Jonathan Browning said that the concept is

“a glimpse of what a production version will look like. Today it’s still a concept, but I talk about it in those terms with a twinkle in my eye.”

Production specifications are a little hazy at this stage, but it is expected to offer a similar personality to the concept with a somewhat toned down body design. No word was mentioned on the timing.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.