By Mike Hanley on February 6, 2013
I'm a little surprised to be writing this, but the Beetle GSR's yellow-and-black paint scheme works really well on the car's hatchback body style. In person, the yellow is much paler than I thought it would be, and it contrasts nicely with the glossy black paint.
In place of a substantial boost in performance — the GSR's turbocharged four-cylinder is rated at 210 horsepower, 10 hp more than the Beetle Turbo — Volkswagen gives you lots of GSR badges inside and out. It's too bad the higher-output, 256-hp turbo four-cylinder from the Golf R didn't find its way under the hood. Apart from GSR-specific cues like yellow accent stitching and a special shift knob, the interior is mostly unchanged.
Tim Mahoney, Volkswagen's chief product and marketing officer, said U.S. dealers will each get one or two Beetle GSRs and suggested that car shoppers interested in purchasing one put their name on a list with their dealer. He said the car's worldwide production of 3,500 units won't be extended.
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike