Combining heritage and modernity in equal measures, the special-edition Volkswagen Beetle GSR is the driver’s – and, potentially, the collector’s – choice of the new bug range.
On the one hand, it looks to the past in drawing its name and vivid paint scheme from an early ’70s Europe-only performance Beetle, the Gelb Schawrzer Renner (Yellow Black Racer).
More than just a nostalgia-tinged cruiser, the GSR also packs a punch thanks to the first North American application of Volkswagen’s new, third-generation turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Working with the buyer’s choice of six-speed manual or six-speed “DSG” dual-clutch automatic, the mill makes 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, and helps the GSR capture much of the driving magic of the legendary GTI hot hatch.
With only about 1500 GSRs expected to reach U.S. shores, our Ron Doron is here to evaluate whether it’s worth looking into this limited-run Beetle before all examples are spoken for. And for more information on the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle lineup, don’t forget to check out Leftlane’s Buying Guide.