Volkswagen Beetle GRC – the world’s fastest Beetle

Andretti Autosport fields 553bhp GRC Beetle for 2015

America’s Andretti Autosport has revealed the technical specification for its 2015 Global Rallycross car, two examples of which are set to compete at eight purpose-built tracks across the US this season. Andretti’s Volkswagen Beetle GRC will be powered by a turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder TSI engine that produces 553bhp at 7800rpm and 465lb ft of torque at 5000rpm.

This represents a growth of 9bhp and 78lb ft compared with the team’s 2014 challengers, which utilised power from smaller 1.6-litre TSI units. The new car’s extra power and torque will substantially improve acceleration and off-the-line launches, which are notoriously savage in rallycross, with cars often capable of charging from 0 to 60mph in under 2sec.

A major contributor to this rapid acceleration is the car’s short-ratio six-speed sequential gearbox, which drives a fixed-ratio all-wheel-drive system with multiplate limited-slip differentials on both axles. The short gearing means top speed is usually limited to around 125mph, depending on the setup.

Andretti Autosport has been able to switch to the more powerful drivetrain thanks to rule changes that mean the US-based GRC racers share more technical resemblance with FIA World Rallycross cars.

The GRC Beetles, which are purpose built from the off as rallycross racers, use strut suspension with ZF dampers capable of 9.5 inches of travel.

Stopping power comes from 14-inch front and 11.8-inch rear ventilated disc brakes, with four-piston aluminium callipers. Surrounding these are 17-inch Speedline wheels, wrapped in 240mm-wide Yokohama competition rubber.

The steel-bodied car weighs just 1300kg, resulting in a substantial power-to-weight figure of 432bhp/ton – just 3 points shy of a Ferrari 458 Speciale (which of course features significantly longer gear ratios).

Ensuring the Andretti Beetles look as menacing as the spec sheet suggests are large rear wings, wide arches and carbon body trim. The team’s 2015 livery is yet to be revealed.

‘We are very much looking forward to the start of the GRC season with the Beetle,’ comments Jost Capito, motorsport director, Volkswagen. ‘The 2015 Beetle GRC has been further developed, based on all our experience we gained with the brand new Beetle last year. We are looking forward to a serious title challenge with Scott Speed and Tanner Foust in 2015 and we are sure that the Beetles will be real fan favourites again.’

Andretti Autosport's drivers, the aforementioned Scott Speed and Tanner Foust, will race at the opening 2015 GRC round on May 31 at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale circuit. While the championship is only based within the US, the growth in rallycross’s global popularity means it’s becoming an increasingly interesting arena for manufacturers to showcase racing versions of their road cars. 

Most Popular

New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring – rear profile
Porsche 911 GT3

New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK

The Touring pack has returned, combining the 992 GT3’s set-up with more understated looks
15 Jun 2021
The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive
evo archive – LaFerrari truck extraction – stop!
Ferrari

The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive

How do you get a £1million hypercar out of the back of a delivery truck? Very, very, slowly…
15 Jun 2021
BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance
BMW M5 CS – front cornering
BMW M5 saloon

BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance

Nonsensical on paper, but sublime in practice. Never has a modern supersaloon been more tactile or more engaging
14 Jun 2021
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition – slide
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act

Immense performance from about the coolest modern muscle car out there. It’s expensive, but there’s nothing else quite like it
12 Jun 2021
Updated in-line six Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door revealed – hybrid V8s still to come
Mercedes-AMG GT53 MY22 – front tracking
Mercedes

Updated in-line six Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door revealed – hybrid V8s still to come

GT43 and GT53 4-Doors receive a refresh while we await the arrival of the V8 hybrid GT73
14 Jun 2021
MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
Next generation BMW 7-series spied – flagship saloon to once again set the tone for future models
Next generation BMW 7-series spied – front quarter
BMW 7 Series

Next generation BMW 7-series spied – flagship saloon to once again set the tone for future models

All-new saloon to feature IC and EV powertrains, but once again it’ll also lead the way aesthetically
16 Jun 2021
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?
Audi RS3 manufacturer spy 1
Audi RS3

2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?

Audi Sport is putting the final touches on its new RS3 hot hatch and saloon
10 Jun 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers

The long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid has finally come to fruition, with first US examples hitting the road
11 Jun 2021
Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder
Posaidon Mercedes-AMG E63
Mercedes E63 AMG

Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder

Three new Posaidon power upgrades are now available for Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S, bringing hypercar numbers to the four door supersaloon
9 Jun 2021
GTO Engineering Squalo interior sketches revealed – new-build Ferrari 250 GTO hommage draws closer
GTO Engineering interior
Ferrari

GTO Engineering Squalo interior sketches revealed – new-build Ferrari 250 GTO hommage draws closer

New details, including the interior, have been revealed about the GTO Engineering Squalo
15 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
17 Jun 2021
Can the Renault Clio Trophy beat a modern supersaloon for daily transport?
Jethro opinion header
Opinion

Can the Renault Clio Trophy beat a modern supersaloon for daily transport?

The boot struts have gone saggy and the hatch slams onto my head three times a week, but the Clio Trophy is hard to resist
8 Jun 2021
Forza Horizon 5 confirmed for November 2021 – open-world driving game heads to Mexico
Forza Horizon 5
videogames

Forza Horizon 5 confirmed for November 2021 – open-world driving game heads to Mexico

The open-world Forza Horizon series has become a go-to for car fans, and its fifth installment is just around the corner
15 Jun 2021