560-hp Beetle by Volkswagen Wants To Make Millennial Hearts Race

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 07:57 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The 560-horsepower Volkswagen Beetle, which was displayed at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Thursday, is aiming to put a new, younger spin on the iconic German vehicle. It could make millennial hearts race.

The snazzy all-wheel drive was built for speed and will compete in the Red Bull Global Rallycross, according to AutoWeek. Andretti Autosport joined Volkswagen in the Beetle's premiere at the auto show. 

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Volkswagen will enter two Beetles in the race competition with Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust, manning one of the vehicles, and former Formula One driver Scott Speed will be behind the wheel in a second one.

"Red Bull Global Rallycross is the perfect form of motorsports for a youthful, exuberant, and growing brand in the U.S. market," Michael Horn, president and chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group of America, told AutoWeek. "We're excited to partner with Andretti Autosports, one of the great names in American motorsports, and delighted that we will be running the iconic Beetle in the series."

Motor Trend reported that Volkswagen's creation of its racing Beetle is all about getting millennials interested in the brand. 

"Motorsports in America traditionally have an older demographic, but Global Rallycross has seemingly struck a chord with young urban millennials," Motor Trend reported. "VW sees that, as well as the Beetle's wide generational appeal, as the key to getting not-so-car-crazy young’uns into its dealers, and into its cars."

Volkswagen's actual entries into the Global Rallycross may look different from the Chicago Auto Show vehicles.

"Foust's Beetle was actually the VW Super Beetle show car from SEMA, while Speed's car was just a Beetle GSR with a 7Up livery," Motor Trend reported.

Volkswagen and Andretti Autosports told AutoWeek that they will initially compete with VW Polo hatchbacks, which will have the same chassis as the vehicle that won the 2013 World Rally Championship. However, they will later switch to the GRC Beetle at the Summer X Games in Austin, Texas.

The public will get their first chance to view the Beetle and other vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show on Saturday. The auto show celebrates its 106th anniversary this year, put on by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization.

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