Itâ€™s the news weâ€™ve all been waiting for, the long awaiting rumour mill surrounding the R400/R420 project can finally be put to bed.
Here it is!! But not as a Golf as expected, as a Beetle. Thatâ€™s right, the R400 concept weâ€™ve seen to date was merely a Trojan-Horse style distractionâ€¦
What more appropriate way of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 33bhp peopleâ€™s car reaching America could there be than by launching a power-crazed special with a huge price tag? Volkswagen seem to agree, and theyâ€™ve done just that.
Power crazed? Well yes. Volkswagen has blown the 400bhp figure out of the window. The Beetle R500 uses an up-rated version of the 3.0 litre V6 petrol found in models such as the US version of the Touareg, now heavily turbocharged to boost power from the standard 280bhp output to a truly staggering 496bhp.
Apparently itâ€™s a snug fitâ€¦ Dr ShÃ¶horn Wielder commented, â€œYes, we had to do away with some key components such as ze air conditioning to make the engine fit, but this helps save weight, so it has an advantageâ€
All that power will be put on the road using the latest 4-MOTION system, with clever differentials front and rear to help keep those driving lines tight. People will no doubt ask though whether having this big V6 out front will upset the delicate balance of the MQB chassis, but Recht Hander, head of chassis dynamics declared â€œwith 500bhp available, the handling is interestingâ€.
Itâ€™ll be a handful in a straight line too, with an addition that is sure to impress â€˜Fast and the Furiousâ€™ fans. The â€˜Watch tHis, Instant Power Systemâ€™ (WHIPS) will via a steering wheel mounted button allow the R500 to over-boost momentarily delivering absolutely savage overtaking power.
All of this power does have its downsidesâ€¦ the R500 is loud, very loud. Thankfully, Volkswagen has fitted the Beetle R500 with a â€˜Pedestrian Loudness Optimisation Pressure Systemâ€™ (PLOPS). This reduces the pressure in the rear section of the exhaust via a series of valves, making the R500 much quieter around town. Head of acoustics Dr Zonic Boum declared the new PLOPS system â€œa revelation in pedestrian satisfactionâ€.
Thatâ€™s pretty much all the information we have for now, but one thing is for sure, this is bound to cause a stir.