The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner

Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
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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.

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Illustration for article titled 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.

Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
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Illustration for article titled 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.

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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.

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Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
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Illustration for article titled 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.

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Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
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Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Beetle GSR Is A Surprising Head Turner
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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

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DISCUSSION

tommcparland
Tom McParland

I had a lot of people ask me about my '04 Mini Cooper when I had it. Granted at the time MINIs where not that popular on the road so it was a rare sight in S. Jersey. The most surprising question that I would get often was, "Is that a hybrid?" When I explained that it was a gas motor and a pretty spunky one usually the reaction was "Cool, must be a fun little car." It was.