Some things from the 1970s are best left in the past. Bell bottoms, for instance. Genesis. Richard Nixon.
Others, like the Volkswagen Beetle ‘Racer’, we’re happy to see again – and VW has responded by launching the Beetle GSR at the Chicago Auto Show.
That rather vivid hue is a deliberate throwback to the 1970s special edition, based on the 1.6-litre 1303S. The Beetle was never particularly sporty, but with a lick of yellow paint, some black-painted panels and a three-spoke sport steering wheel, the original was as close as it got.
The new car gets a similar paint scheme, with yellow bodywork and a black-painted bonnet and bootlid, with the addition of a black roof, a few stripes and a GSR logo down the side.
These days the 50-horsepower flat-four “powering” the classic is less than you’d get from a basic Volkswagen Up, so the GSR has been granted something a little more potent.
Under the bonnet – in the front, remember – there’s a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder producing 210 PS. With a six-speed manual gearbox (the DSG dual-clutch auto is optional) it’ll sprint to 60 mph in less time than it takes to trim a pair of sideburns (7.3 seconds, to be precise). The original would get there in only slightly less time than it’d take to grow some…
Tornado 19-inch alloy wheels slot under the yellow arches, both significantly wider and larger in diameter than the original. Yellow-stiched fabric sport seats and a yellow-stitched leather steering wheel jazz up the inside, while a numbered plaque – from only 3,500 cars – adorns the interior.
Only 100 of those 3,500 cars will ever hit UK shores, so you’d best register your interest quickly.
Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: Order in May, deliveries begin Autumn