By Brandy Schaffels.
Volkswagen displayed its 2014 GSR Special Edition in the spring at the Chicago Auto Show, in homage to the original GSR model first seen in the 1970s, and has recently revealed pricing information on the special edition model that will hit dealerships in the fall. If you love the styling of the recently redesigned Volkswagen Beetle, but want something even more eye-catching and with a bit more horsepower, then the GSR is for you.
The Gelb Schwarzer Renner or “Yellow Black Racer” made its debut 40 years ago with a “whopping” 50 horsepower, and only 3500 models were produced. The original yellow-and-black 1970’s Volkswagen Beetle is now a collector’s item; like its predecessor, only 3500 super sporty GSR models will be built for the 2014 model year with more than half of those destined to be sold in the U.S.
The upcoming 2014 Volkswagen GSR Beetle looks back at the original GSR with a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, black-trimmed leather sport seats, and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with contrasting yellow stitching. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather-wrapped handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery.
The body and bumpers of the 2014 GSR are finished predominantly in yellow; the hood is mainly black, and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are black. The car has yellow and black stripes with “GSR” lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The GSR rides on 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires and black-painted brake calipers.
The Special Edition 2014 Beetle GSR is based on the standard Beetle R-Line trimmed with sunroof, sound, and navigation, and features a Fender premium audio system; a panoramic sunroof; navigation system; keyless access with push-button start; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps; LED license-plate lighting; heated front seats; Bluetooth connectivity; media device interface with iPod cable; three-color ambient lighting; aluminum-alloy-look pedals; and auxiliary instruments include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge.
A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car.
The standard 2014 Volkswagen Beetle offers three engines and transmissions: a 170-horsepower/1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic boasting 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway (with the six-speed automatic transmission); a 140-horsepower/2.0-liter TDI turbocharged four-cylinder diesel promising fuel economy of 28 mpg city and 41 mpg highway when equipped with the manual transmission and 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway with the DSG, and a 210-horsepower/2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder DOHC engine promising fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with the DSG dual clutch automatic; or 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for the Turbo with six-speed manual.
The Special Edition GSR Beetle’s 210 horsepower/direct-injection 2.0-liter TSI engine makes 207 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. Most impressively, the engine delivers peak torque from as low as 1700 rpm, giving smooth, effortless acceleration in all the gears. The GSR is standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic transmission will be an option.
Pricing of the standard 2014 Volkswagen Beetle starts at $19,995, and prices up to $28,405 for the TDI with Sunroof and Fender sound. The Special Edition GSR Beetle will start at $29,995 for models equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; the base price for the version equipped with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic is $31,095. (MSRPs exclude taxes, title, transportation, options and dealer charges.)
The Beetle is also covered under Volkswagen’s no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program, which covers all scheduled maintenance for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty—three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, all current Volkswagen vehicles use synthetic oil, which eliminates the need for a 5000-mile oil change, and allows owners to go farther between scheduled oil changes.
(Note: All vehicles provided by manufacturers for comparison test purposes. Photos provided by Volkswagen.)