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Volkswagen Beetle GRC racer has 544 hp, hits 60 mph in 2.1 seconds

By on June 20, 2014 5:06 PM
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Volkswagen Beetle GRC racer has 544 hp, hits 60 mph in 2.1 secondsVolkswagen Beetle GRC racer has 544 hp, hits 60 mph in 2.1 seconds 1Volkswagen Beetle GRC racer has 544 hp, hits 60 mph in 2.1 seconds 2

Now in its fourth year, the Red Bull-backed Global Rallycross series continues to gain popularity here and abroad. This closed-course competition features highly-modified production-based vehicles taking on challenging temporary circuits that combine dirt and tarmac surfaces to serve up action that's always fast and furious. This season, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross has dominated in the opening rounds with a pair of GRC-spec Polos driven by Scott Speed and Tanner Foust. To ensure it stays at the front of the field, the automaker has created an even more potent entry, the Beetle GRC. On display at the Volkswagen Rallycross D.C. event this weekend, the Beetle GRC will officially take to the grid later this summer.

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Designed specifically for GRC competition by Volkswagen Motorsport, the Beetle GRC racer represents the most radical iteration to date of a Gen III variant. Key powertrain elements include a 1.6-liter turbocharged/intercooled 4-cylinder TSI engine that makes 544 horsepower, a sequential 6-speed gearbox and fixed-ratio all-wheel drive with front and rear limited-slip differentials. That combination promises to drop 0-60 mph sprint times to a scant 2.1 seconds. The Beetle GRC's full-race chassis features ZF shocks at each corner that allow up to 9.1 inches of travel, while 17-inch Yokohama racing tires help it keep in control on any surface and huge 14.0/11.8-inch front/rear vented discs maintain consistent stopping power. 

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