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Volkswagen Beetle GRC is a bug with bite

  • vw-grc-876.jpg

     (VW)

  • vw-grc-876-rear.jpg

     (VW)

The Beetle has never been so super.

Volkswagen today unveiled the race car it will be fielding in the Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) series later this year.

The all-wheel-drive bug is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out a massive 544 hp, making it 2.5 times as potent as the top street car.

With a racing weight of just 2668 pounds, the Beetle GRC can sprint to 60 mph in a scant 2.1 seconds on tarmac, while its huge wing keeps it stuck to the ground and a suspension designed to deliver 9.1 inches of wheel travel eats up the jumps and bumps of a rallycross course.

The car will be fielded by Andretti Autosport with Top Gear host Tanner Foust and current GRC points leader Scott Speed behind the wheel, but its debut race hasn’t been announced. A mockup of the car was first shown at the Chicago Auto Show in Feburary, but the pair has been competing in cars based on the European VW Polo subcompact, which is not sold in the U.S.

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