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2013-02-07 13:50

VW LEGEND REBORN: The 1973 VW Beetle 1303 S (left) has been brought back to life 40 years later as the 2013 Beetle GSR.


2012 VW New Beetle SA launch

CHICAGO, Illinois  - Volkswagen has revealed its limited-edition Beetle GSR at the 2013 Chicago auto show as a tribute to the sportiest Beetle yet made. 

The latest VW Beetle was launched in South Africa towards the end of 2012 and already there's a limited edition out overseas. The Chicago show opened to the public on Thursday (Feb 7) to Feb 18 where the 155kW Beetle GSR is on show. Only 3500 will be produced, just like the original model exactly 40 years ago.


GSR  is short for Gelb Schwarzer Renner, which simply means “yellow black racer", based on the 1973 Beetle 1303 S, known as the sportiest series production Beetle of all time. Now it seems like every  brand has a GSR...

Anyway, according VW SA, the limited numbers are likely to go to the US and Europe with orders ready to be booked as early as May 2013. Deliveries will start during the northern autumn.

The 2013 model  carries styling traits of its predecessor, mostly its two-colour (if you can call black a colour) paint theme. The body will be yellow but the bonnet and boot lid will be matt black – just like the yesteryear version.  The mirrors and roof will also be black this time round.

There’ll also be black/yellow stripes with GSR lettering above the door sills, yellow bumpers (previously black) in new R-Line design and a yellow/black rear spoiler to complete the GSR look.

And if you really want to be special, you can go against the grain and order the platinum grey / black version as an option.

Torndao 19" alloys will replace the 15" “steelies” and the cabin will have fabric R-Line racing sports seats with contrasting yellow stitching – the Amercians will get black leather. 


Other goodies include: a high-grip leather sports steering wheel (yellow stitching), an R-Line logo and facia and a limited-edition badge with the special-edition number (1 to 3500), GSR gear lever, a leather handbrake cover and black floor mats with yellow embroidery.

Power figures aren’t too shabby either with a 0-100km/h sprint in 7.3sec and a top speed of 229km/h. Maximum torque of 280Nm is reached from only 1700rpm right up to 5200, while fuel consumption is claimed as 7.3 litres/100km. A six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) can be ordered instead of the six-speed manual.

The 1973 Beetle 1303 S was one of the most expensive and sought-after models back then and that will make the new model a collector’s item, too.


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