The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

When I picked up the Volkswagen Beetle GSR press car last week I didn't think much about the attention I'd get. I'd just driven in an Aston Martin Vanquish and, unsurprisingly, there were dudes snapping necks left and right at that tasty carbon fiber-rimmed beauty. The Beetle did even better.

You can't see it in the photos, but in the background, behind Raphael's lens is a conversation I was having with two young men who walked up and wanted to know about the car the minute we stopped.

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

Perhaps it's the connection with the original Transformers Bumblebee (and the new one with the stripes), or the car's more masculine proportions, but everyone seemed to want to look at it.

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

Driving through NYC I heard everyone from a group of tall women who seemed like models in SoHo to teenage boys in Queens coming back from playing ball comment on it, and all the comments seemed positive.

I didn't get to shake it out too much, but I agree with Jason's Will-It-Baby review in that it's quick but not as fast as it looks. If you like a GTI and you want more attention, this car is close.

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The interior is slightly too aggro given that they're working with the base Volkswagen Beetle proportions, which are still on the Hello Kitty side of cute, but it's not bad. I wished it was just a touch more retro.

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

The wheels and chrome treatment are great, and everyone pointed out the little shiny strip below the door along the rocker panel.

Anyone else have a car that's more popular than you'd imagine?

Photos Copyright Raphael Orlove/Jalopnik