Capable of 0 to 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds, VW’s GRC racecar is one blistering Beetle

Fast Beetles are usually rare, boisterous, and a little bit weird … but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

The outrageous rallycross Beetle was teased in February, and Volkswagen has announced the definitive car that will run in the VW Rallycross D.C. event this weekend, as well as the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship throughout the year. 

It looks a little tamer that the sticker-emblazoned concept, but the overt cooling vents and enormous wing hint that this hippie mobile has more than flower power under its hood.

“The Beetle boasts a unique appearance and state-of-the-art technology,” said Jost Capito, director of Volkswagen Motorsport. “It will sweep fans off their feet.”

The rallycross Bug is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a whopping 544 horsepower, making an impressive 340 hp-per-liter.

The enormous power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and is managed by multi-plate, limited slip differentials both at the front and back.

The Beetle weighs less than 3,000 pounds (pre-sticker weight), allowing it to hit 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds. That’s faster than a McLaren P1, LaFerrari, Ariel Atom 500, and most sport bikes. Obviously, this isn’t a production car, but comparisons to real-world hypercars make this Bug even more impressive.

The Beetle will be driven by Tanner Foust (of Top Gear US) and the aptly named Scott Speed in the third round of Red Bull’s Global Rallycross championship. Until now, Speed has been piloting the 7UP Volkswagen Polo in the series, which has garnered the team two victories. 

“The Polo has already proved super-competitive,” said Speed, “and we are really looking forward to racing a car that has been engineered specifically by Volkswagen Motorsport for GRC competition.” 

Foust echoed Speed’s enthusiasm, saying, “I know I can’t wait to race the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle. There’s no cooler looking car in the series.”