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Herbie goes off-road


OF ALL the vehicles in the current Volkswagen range one would expect to enter the realm of motorsport, the Beetle may be considered the least likely. However, as you know, the most famous Beetle was famed for its racing prowess.

Herbie was its name, a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle that raced its way through several Disney motion pictures wearing the number 53.

The Beetle is back in motorsport in the USA with a Rallycross version thatfeatures all-wheel-drive and a TSI engine that delivers more than 418kW, making it the ultimate version of the third-generation Beetle. This manic bug was first shown at the Chicago Auto Show.

The vehicle was made through collaboration by Volkswagen and Andretti Autosport, which has formed the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team. The two racing Beetles will be piloted by Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

Rallycross is the fastest-growing form of motorsports in the USA and here’s hoping that it will soon take off in South Africa. Overseas the events attract big crowds and receive live TV coverage.

The Rallycross concept is simple: two cars are pitted against each other and timed in a series of heats on a closed course that’s usually a mixture of dirt and pavement with jumps of up to 20 metres or more.

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