Look Out Herbie, A New Love Bug Is Born
February 7, 2014

Look Out Herbie, A New Love Bug Is Born

Even if you aren’t an automotive fan, most likely you have heard of Herbie, The Love Bug.

If not, Herbie is a 1963 VW Beetle that displayed the number 53 on its hood and doors. The car also starred in several films, beginning with the 1968 movie The Love Bug.

Other films were Herbie Rides Again in 1974; Herbie goes to Monte Carlo in 1977; Herbie Goes Bananas in 1980; The Love Bug, a 1997 made-for-TV movie; finally, Herbie: Fully Loaded in 2005.

Not only was Herbie a star of film, the car had his own television series, five shows airing in March and April of 1982.

Herbie was a popular Beetle; however, the Beetle that has arrived in 2014 just might match Herbie’s success. Maybe not in the movies and in a TV series, but on the track; this new V-dub will be a definite contender.

The following information comes to you from our friends at Top Speed.

This vehicle also has a name and it is called the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC. The GRC is short for Global Rallycross and the car itself will be part of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series.

Volkswagen and Andretti Autosport are partnering to form a racing team (Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross) to compete in the series. Tanner Foust and teammate Scott Speed will start the season driving two modified Polo rally cars, but in swap out for the GRC.

“I’m thrilled to be entering the series, and especially happy about teaming with Volkswagen. We are excited about our driver lineup of Tanner and Scott; I believe we have the best drivers in the series and will be a top contender,” Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport stated to the press.

Rallycross is a competition where the drivers not only race each other, but race the clock, as well, while maneuvering their cars through various terrains and 70-foot jumps. The team will also be part of the X Games in June.

“Red Bull Global Rallycross is the perfect form of motor sports for a youthful, exuberant, and growing brand in the U.S. market. We’re excited to partner with Andretti Autosport, one of the great names in American motor sports, and delighted that we will be running the iconic Beetle in the series,” said CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America, Michael Horn.

Let’s look at the standard version Volkswagen GSR first, and then I’ll enlighten you with the GRC rally version.

The standard GSR comes with a 2.0-L, turbocharged I-4 power plant that produces 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. It is connected to a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

Performance isn’t bad for this factory beetle either. It sprints down the track to a 6.5 second 0-60 time, and has a quarter mile time of 14.8 seconds at 94.9 mph.

The race team added a bit of juice to the Beetle and ended up with a 560 hp Volkswagen Bug. With this extra power, performance is impressive, with an estimated 4.0 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 186 mph.

In reality, the GRC could most likely beat Herbie in a one on one race. But for the Hollywood Herbie, you decide who would win.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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