Forty years ago, the sportiest version of the classic Volkswagen Beetle made its debut and was called as the GSR (Gelb Schwarzer Renner or 'Yellow Black Racer'), the vehicle was based on a 1303S and was instantly recognizable by its color scheme. Just 3500 units were built and they are now collectors' items.
At the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen of America, Inc. pays homage to that 1970s' model with the world unveiling of the 2014 Beetle GSR. Striking in yellow and black, just like its predecessor, the GSR also debuts an uprated version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI engine that generates 210 hp and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission(dual-clutch DSG 6-speed automatic transmission available as an option). Just like its predecessor, only 3500 GSR models will be made-and more than half of those will be sold in the U.S.
The new car has yellow/black stripes with 'GSR' lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The stance of the new car is very different, as it rides on 19-inch 'Tornado' aluminum-alloy wheels fitted with 235/40 tires, compared with the original GSR's 15-inch steel wheels and 175- section tires.
Its interior has a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather sport steering wheel with a badge that is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery.
Also at the 2013 Chicago Auto Salon, Volkswagen formally started introducing the R-Line trim on the Beetle convertible to join the CC, Beetle Coupe, Tiguan and the Touareg on the R-Line family.
The R-Line specification offers another level of sportiness to the all-new Beetle Convertible lineup, it augments the Beetle Convertible Turbo's impressive list of standard equipment, the Beetle Convertible R-Line adds performance-inspired exterior and interior treatments.
On the outside, the R-Line features a bi-xenon headlamp with DRLs, unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on lower-profile all- season tires paired with the Beetle Turbo's sport-tuned suspension and is topped off with the inclusion of R-line badge on the front grille.additional enhancements include an R-Line badge on the front grille.
Inside, the Beetle Convertible R-Line features 'metallic-finish'" dash and door trim; a sporty flat-bottom R-Line multi-function leather steering wheel; stainless-steel R-Line scuff plates; aluminum sport pedals; and leather sport seating surfaces. Other interior appointments include the RNS 315 navigation system; Keyless access with push-button start; and the award-winning Fender Premium Audio System, which delivers rich sound via a 10-channel, 400 watt amplifier with eight speakers and a rear subwoofer.
The Beetle Convertible R-Line will be added to the Volkswagen line-up for model year 2014 while pricing will be announced closer to launch later this year.