Topless Golf R, fast Beetle GSR

As we await the Mk7 Golf GTI later in the year Volkswagen has decided to keep our interest in fast Golfs awake with ... a two-wheel drive R Cabriolet based on the Mk6 platform.

265hp and the best part of £40K. Hm.
265hp and the best part of £40K. Hm.
Apart from a canvas roof and a hefty £38,770 pricetag you'll have 265hp to help blow away those nagging doubts about the wisdom of spending nearly £40K on an old ragtop Golf when a 306hp BMW 135i M Convertible starts at £35,625. DSG only is inevitable in this day and age and unlikely to prompt even the flicker of an eyebrow.

The fact it costs £8K more than the adequately rapid, also DSG-only, also front-driven 210hp 2.0-litre TSI Golf Cabriolet might though. Ditto the loss of four-wheel drive. It does run special R suspension, which is 25mm lower than standard, but not being based on the new Golf's MQB platform it's unlikely to get the trick active differential promised for the GTI.

Cabrio Golf R too macho? There's an alternative
Cabrio Golf R too macho? There's an alternative
Further signs of curious goings on in Wolfsburg - via the Chicago Auto Show (nor us) - have been confirmed with a limited run Beetle GSR. Though claimed to be designed "solely with dynamics in mind" there's a little more to it than that, the GSR name (Gelb-Schwarzer-Renner, or Yellow-Black-Racer if our GCSE German serves) reviving a classic badge and paint scheme applied to a limited run of 3,500 original Beetles built 40 years ago. Go on, guess how many of the new one they'll be making...

Claimed as now one of the most expensive and sought after classic Beetles, the 1303 S was, in its day, the fastest Volkswagen on sale. Somewhat optimistically VW boasts this new one will also become a collector's item and invites speculation to how values will hold in 2053. Check the PH classifieds in 40 years' time to see how that goes.

A future classic, promises VW
A future classic, promises VW
210hp is, at least, more than four times the 50hp of the original and, unlike the Golf R, there is the option of a manual or DSG. If the whole bumblebee thing isn't to your taste there's also a more subdued grey/black option too. Prices in Germany start at 30,300 euros, UK availability TBC.

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Comments (109) Join the discussion on the forum

  • WMP 08 Feb 2013

    For £38,770.00 buy a Millennium Falcon I could.

    Hmmm, retro nonsense the Beetle is.

  • Cyrus1971 08 Feb 2013

    VW's pricing on it's "fast" cars has been taking the pi$$ for years. Another two examples to add to the list and guarantee them small sales figures.

  • Mastodon2 08 Feb 2013

    Those are two of the goofiest looking cars I've seen in years.

  • Robbie1400 08 Feb 2013

    I imagine the first year depreciation on that Golf cabrio will be pretty chunky!

  • MagicalTrevor 08 Feb 2013

    As suggested in the article, a BMW M135i would be where my money went. Ok, I wouldn't get the convertible version but still. VW have lost the plot.

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