Volkswagen has revealed more details of the vehicle it will use in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship later this season. With 544 hp (405 kW) from its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the GRC Beetle is little more than a distant relative of your grandma's Beetle.

The GRC's engine is intercooled, with a 6 speed sequential gearbox to let drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed bang through the gears more quickly than a standard manual gearbox. All 544 horses are put to the ground through a fixed ratio all-wheel drive system with multi-plate limited-slip differentials both front and rear.

Rallycross throws up engineering challenges that other series' simply don't have to deal with. The tracks featured in 2014 have seen cars taking on jumps, and often have drivers racing on gravel and tarmac in the same lap. Because of this rugged racing, Volkswagen has fitted the GRC Beetle with strut suspension and ZF dampers, with 9.1 in (23 cm) of travel to soak up the inevitable hard landings.

17 inch wheels shod in 240/640 Yokohama racing tires are attached to brakes with four piston calipers clamping 14 inch ventilated discs at the front, and 11.8 inch discs at the rear.

The combination of all-wheel drive grip, 544 hp and a minimum weight of 2,668 lb (1,210 kg) makes the GRC Beetle lightning quick off the line, with VW predicting it will sprint from 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in just 2.1 seconds. And there's no doubt it looks mean, with the massive rear spoiler, front aero kit and flared wheel arches granting the car some serious presence.

The new Beetle GRC replaces VW's Rallycross Polo, which has already notched up two wins.

Source: Volkswagen

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