A neo-classic in the truest sense, the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR made its high-profile world debut in Chicago. A modern recasting of the original Beetle GSR - those letters standing for "Gelb Schwarzer Renner" or "Yellow Black Racer" - this new-age alternative is destined to become the sportiest Beetle of ifs day thanks to its unique look and an even more potent turbocharged engine. Beyond sharing the same color scheme as its now highly collectible predecessor that was based on a 1303S model, this 2014 iteration also will have its production numbers limited to just 3,500 units worldwide. According to VW, over half are expected to be heading to America.

Spun from a Beetle Turbo with the Sunroof and Sound Package, the 2014 GSR complements its unique yellow/black exterior motif with more aggressive R-Line bumpers and a large rear spoiler. It rides on stance-enhancing 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels wrapped in 235/40 performance rubber - a far cry from the 15-inch steel rims and 175-section tire fitment found on the original. Other distinctive touches include yellow/black stripes with "GSR" lettering above the side skirts and black brake calipers.

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The cabin of the 2014 Beetle GSR reprises the same bumble-bee color scheme, highlighted by sport seats and high-grip steering wheel covered in black leather with yellow contrast stitching. This Super Bug also boasts an R-Line dash pad, GSR shift lever and sill plates, leather handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery along with a sequence-numbered Special Edition badge on the steering wheel.

Motivation for the new Beetle GSR comes from an upgraded version of VW's EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine that puts out over four times as much horsepower as the 50 ponies corralled by the original. Retuned to make 210 horses instead of the current 200, this stouter version of the force-fed 4-cylinder also will supplant the existing engine in the baseline Beetle Turbo as well as the Jetta GLI during the 2013 model year. It can be backed by the standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic and will take the Beetle GSR from 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph.

In addition to its GSR-spec goodies, this limited-edition Beetle will come with loads of other Sunroof and Sound model creature features. Beyond the obvious Fender Premium Audio System and panoramic sunroof, that formidable roster will include Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, LED license-plate lighting, heated front seats, Keyless access with push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod cable, three-color ambient lighting, aluminum-alloy pedals and an auxiliary instrument package that includes a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge.

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR will goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the actual launch date.


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