2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR harks back to the original

At the Chicago Auto Show, currently underway, Volkswagen unveiled a unique performance version of the new Beetle, called the Volkswagen Beetle GSR Limited Edition. It harks back to the original 1303S from the 1970s.

The special GSR – Gelb Schwarzer Renner (translated to ‘yellow black racer’) – edition comes with an engine borrowed from the Golf GTI. It’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘EA888’ four-cylinder producing 156kW. It can be matched up to a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch auto.

Distinctive highlights for the sporty version include a discreet bodykit with an R-Line front bumper bar, a neat rear diffuser section at the back, and a set of 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels.

Inside is similarly themed, with black multi-tone sports seats, contrasting yellow stitching, a bespoke GSR gear shifter and floor mats, a panoramic glass sunroof, and a Fender high-quality sound system. There’s also GSR badging on the dash.

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Volkswagen is planning to build just 3500 examples of the modern GSR, with around half of the production allocation apparently heading to the US market. It’s unknown at this stage if it will be made in right-hand drive.

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. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.