Volkswagen Beetle R Concept - Frankfurt Auto Show

A one-off for the moment, the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept made its high-profile debut in Frankfurt. While nothing has been confirmed, it appears virtually certain to morph into a Beetle R Reality in the not-too-distant future. A logical extension of the automaker's "R" performance line -- that currently includes the Golf R and Scirocco R -- this design study previews a package that would move considerably beyond the scope of the new Beetle Turbo in every measurable way.

Painted "Serious Gray" with a gloss black roof and accents, the Beetle R Concept boasts a number of tasteful styling enhancements highlighted by its more aggressively rendered fascias. Up front, a trio of large intakes provides cooling air for the engine and brakes while a competition-style spoiler/splitter adds grip and functional vents on the hood assist in maintaining proper engine temps.

>See more new cars unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

The rear comes in for a similar remake, gaining its own air outlets and dual chrome exhaust tips as well as a functional diffuser and a bigger-than-Turbo spoiler. The fenders also receive the bolder-is-better treatment, being 0.6 inches wider to accommodate the Beetle R Concept's 20-inch "Talladega" alloy wheels. Look a bit deeper between their triple-spoke design and you'll find custom blue R-design brake calipers.

The bad-boy persona carries over to the inner sanctum of the Volkswagen Beetle R Concept, which is highlighted by deeply contoured, R-logo motorsport buckets done in gray nutbuck leather and black Nappa hides with Space Blue accents. Unique gauges, aluminum pedal caps, cistom, floor mats and special door sill plates complete the look.

When queried on the potency of the Beetle R Concept, VW offered little more than the tease "the letter 'R' promises top-notch performance" and the reminder that the 2.0-liter TFSI engines in current R-spec Golf and Scirocco pack 266 and 261 ponies, respectively. With luck, there will be more definitive news on that front -- as well as confirmation of a VW Beetle R production schedule - by the end of the year.

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