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Volkswagen Beetle Rallycross to Debut in D.C.

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Volkswagen Beetle Rallycross

The Global Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle will make its debut at the GRC event in Washington, DC. Originally slated for release at the GRC race at the Austin X Games, the pair of Beetles will be driven by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

"After Volkswagen of America's impressive start on the rallycross scene with the Polo, the launch of the new Beetle GRC rallycross car represents the next major milestone. The Beetle boasts a unique appearance and state-of-the-art technology," said Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport director. "It will sweep fans off their feet."

Built on the new third generation Volkswagen Beetle, the Beetle GRC was engineered from the start for rallycross. The Beetle claims an inherent advantage to many of its GRC competitors like the Ford Fiesta GRC car, which was originally designed for the World Rally Championship.

Powering the Beetle GRC will be a pint sized 1.6 liter TSI inline-four. Making the most of its intercooled, turbocharged powerplant, the Beetle makes a whopping 544 horsepower. The boosted engine develops 340 horsepower per liter, and the ubiquitous rally-developed anti-lag system will keep the turbo in boost throughout their races. Power is sent through a 6-speed sequential transmission, which puts power down to all four wheels. With the right launch, the Beetle GRC can get from 0-60 mph in just 2.1 seconds.

Chassis development for the Beetle GRC, just as important as its power, has been tailored specifically for GRC rules. Underneath the wide fenders and aerodynamics sits a set of ZF dampers, providing 9.1 inches of suspension travel to handle the jumps and bumps of the dirt rallycross sections. Limited slip differentials work to put power down to all four 17 inch wheels, wrapped in 240mm wide Yokohama racing tires. The Beetle GRC weighs in at 2,668 lbs, the minimum weight allowed by GRC rules.

Originally planned to race at the Austin X Games event, the Beetle will instead make its race debut at the aptly named Volkswagen Rallycross DC. Fielded by Andretti Autosport with drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. The duo have been driving the Volkswagen Polo GRC, which has won the first two events in the hands of Scott Speed.

"The Polo has already proved super-competitive," said Scott Speed, "and we are really looking forward to racing a car that has been engineered specifically by Volkswagen Motorsport for GRC competition."

Global Rallycross in Washington, DC takes place this Sunday, June 22. NBC will provide live race coverage starting 2 PM Eastern.

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