Skip to main content

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR: This limited edition model is living in the past

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR new and oldThe Volkswagen Beetle is probably the most successful revival of a classic automotive name. Now in its second generation, it continues to draw smiles with its retro styling. The explains why Volkswagen is building a retro limited edition, complete with 1970s graphics and some extra power. The 2014 Beetle GSR was just unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show.

The GSR name was first used on the original Beetle in the 1970s. It stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner, or “yellow and black racer,” which explains the car’s bumblebee paint scheme.

It’s hard not to notice the bright yellow color and the black hood and roof stripes, which echo those of the original GSR. The 2014 model also gets horizontal GSR stripes along the doors, so that anyone who remembers the first yellow and black Beetle can make the connection.

The GSR also comes standard with the R-Line body kit, which can be had on other Beetle models as an extra cost option.

To match the exterior, the interior is black with yellow contrasting stitching.

The 2014 GSR isn’t just about looks, though. It will be the first Beetle to get an upgraded version of VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. It has 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That’s a slight increase over the Beetle Turbo’s 200 hp, while both versions produce the same amount of torque.

The standard Beetle Turbo and the Jetta GLI will get the more powerful 2.0-liter engine beginning this model year.

The GSR will be offered with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR front three quarterIf the GSR’s standout graphics aren’t unique enough, owners can take solace in the fact that Volkswagen will only build 3,500 copies. More than half are earmarked for the United States, but it’s still unlikely that two of these road insects will ever meet.

Pricing will be announced closer to the GSR’s fall 2013 on sale date but, since it’s basically a loaded Beetle Turbo with some extra options, it will probably top that model’s $23,395 base price.

Plenty of other carmakers revive classic names for special editions as well as regular production models. Just look at the way Ford dresses up a retro 2013 Mustang with blue and white racing stripes to make a neo-Shelby. What’s amazing about the 2014 Beetle GSR, besides its retina-assaulting paint, is that Volkswagen hasn’t thought to do this before.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more
Kia EV3: release date, performance, range, and more
White Kia EV3

Kia is on a roll. Hot on the heels of the success of the Kia EV6 and EV9, the company is already announcing what could be its cheapest electric vehicle yet -- the Kia EV3.

The Kia EV line seems to follow the rule of lower numbers indicating a lower price — and if so, the EV3 will end up being the cheapest electric car Kia has released to date. That, however, thankfully doesn’t mean that the EV3 will be a low-end car — it just means that Kia may be pushing the boundaries on electric car pricing.

Read more
Kia EV3 vs Tesla Model Y: Can Kia’s new entry-level car take on Tesla?
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV3 is finally coming, and it could well end up being the best small-size electric SUV to buy when it finally rolls out. It's smaller than the Kia EV9, but it offers many of the same design elements and features. But there's another small-size electric car that's currently one of the most popular vehicles out there -- the Tesla Model Y.

How does the Kia EV3 compare with the Tesla Model Y? And is one vehicle actually better than the other? We put the Kia EV3 and the Tesla Model Y head-to-head to find out.
Design
The design of the Kia EV3 is very different than that of the Model Y, though they're both reasonably good-looking vehicles.

Read more