Saturday, August 24, 2013

GSR 2014 Beetle

The other day I was poking around online and I found a picture of this new special edition Beetle that Volkswagen has released. If you notice in the background there is an older beetle. A 1973 special edition yellow and black racer. Volkswagen made a nice nod to one of their previous special editions with this model, in fact GSR stands for Gelb Schwarzener Renner which means yellow and black Racer. In 1973 VW also released the sports Beetle which came in yellow or a metallic blue. I suppose you could say this is the 2014 version of that Beetle.

In 1973 when the original yellow and black racer edition was released, it had a nice paint job. It looked sportier but Volkswagen was more concerned with cost and fuel efficiency than speed and racy driving so the Beetle still carried it's 1600cc 60hp engine. In 2014 things have changed there is quite a bit more bang for your buck if you will with this new line. At 210hp it can reach 60mph in 6.6 seconds, and then cruise right on up to its top speed of 130mph. In 1973 the racer would reach 81mph floored on level ground. Don't get me wrong they are great little cars, I own a 1975 1303 Beetle but lets just say power and speed have been greatly improved.

In the 1970's the Beetle's design was, face it, outdated compared to many of the other cars at the time, and sales began to slip. This was why in 1971 VW released the super beetle, and then in 1973 the 1303 super beetle with a modern dashboard and curved windshield. But in the end the Beetle was discontinued in the US. But with slipping sales VW became very "gimicky" in their sales. creating many different special edition models to try and boost sales. I've noticed that VW has put out a few different special editions of the Beetle. the 50's, 60's and 70's editions as well as this new GSR model. I hope there isn't a correlation there. I hope the beetle is here to stay. I've really enjoyed there new reincarnation I feel it is a much better capture of the original design and spirit of the Beetle. I guess time will tell if sales are slipping or
the beetle will be here to continue the legacy.