Google+

BBC Autos

Meet Volkswagen's 544-horsepower Beetle GRC

Volkswagen Beetle GRC

(Volkswagen)

This is a Volkswagen Beetle that has been made angry. So angry in fact, it's sprouted some 544 horsepower. Welcome to the world of Global Rallycross.

Specifically, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, who will be entering this white hot Beetle later in the Red Bull GRC championship. As the name suggests, the team is run by Michael Andretti.

So, what are we looking at? Underneath sits a 1.6-litre very turbocharged and very intercooled four cylinder engine producing that headline grabbing 544hp. There's also a six-speed sequential gearbox thrown in for good measure, as well as a fixed ratio all-wheel-drive system featuring multi-plate limited slip diffs front and back.

(Volkswagen)

There are ZF dampers, 14in diameter front and 11.8in rear vented brakes and four-pot aluminium calipers, 17in wheels and of course, a monster rear wing. Because racecar. It's also considerably fatter than the regular Beetle, too, and weighs in at a lithe 2,668lbs (about 300lbs less than a standard Beetle).

Which is all fine and dandy, but the other stat you really should consider is the 0-60mph time: 2.1 seconds. Whoa.

"I can't wait to race the No.34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle," said driver and TG USA host Tanner Foust. We'd like a go too, please. We suspect it might be a little quicker than the 500hp, 2-litre turbocharged one-off Beetle we drove last year in Los Angeles...

(Volkswagen)

A version of this story appeared on TopGear.com.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Autos, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.