At the Geneva Motor Show this week, VW’s R&D boss Frank Welsch confirmed that the VW Beetle is effectively being killed off. There won’t be a replacement for the current version, so once production ends, the Beetle name will once again disappear from VW’s range.
We’re not likely to shed a tear – the retro pastiche, Golf-based machine hasn’t ever been an object of the average petrolhead’s affection, after all. But, there was one version of the earlier, Mk4 Golf-underpinned ‘New Beetle’ which we are rather fond of: the RSI.
This is no ordinary Beetle, as you can tell from the brilliantly OTT bodywork – complete with a comedy-size rear wing – and the orange leather bucket seats in the cabin. The reason for those lairy additions is what’s under the bonnet – a 219bhp 3.2-litre VR6 engine.
This narrow angle sort-of-V6 sends its power to all four wheels via a Haldex clutch-based system, and that should sound familiar, because the Mk4 Golf R32 used the same configuration. Some two years after the debut of the RSI.