Super Beetle – Rear End Removal

This article is part of a series of articles called the VWvortex Super Beetle Project. We are transforming a stock 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo six-speed manual into an AWD, 500hp street car. Our goal is to make the transformation as close to how an original equipment manufacture (OEM) like Volkswagen would have built it to start with. That means we are diving into the Volkswagen empire parts bin to assemble this car. The AWD system, transmission, spare tire well, rear brakes and a few other odds and ends will come out of a 2013 Golf R. The stock Beetle Turbo engine, a 200hp 2.0l direct injection four-cylinder turbo will get APR’s Stage IV upgrade and be a fully built motor that will output more than 500hp when we are done. Mating all of these parts and pieces together and doing it under a tight frame just makes this challenge even more fun.

You can find the main project index page HERE. On that index page you’ll find all the installments so far, large photo galleries and a list of sponsors that helped make this project happen.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do putting it together!

On to the next installment…

So in our first installment, we removed the front subframe assembly and we are working out a way to get the stronger aluminum front subframe assembly onto the Beetle. In this installment we’ll be working on the rear end of the car. Since the Beetle is a brand new model, we need to start getting stuff out of the way to see what we are dealing with. This means removing the multi-link fully-independent rear suspension, gas tanks and, in the case of the Golf R, the Haldex AWD coupling and associated drive shafts. Once those pieces are removed, we will be able to see most of the rear floorpan and exactly how much surgery needs to occur to make the AWD driveline swap into the Beetle.

(note: all photos can be clicked on for larger views)

Here is a comparison of both cars undercarriage in stock form:

After disconnecting the drive shaft from the Haldex coupling, the multilink rear assembly from the Golf R is dropped:

After pulling the rear suspension we are left with this:

After the Golf R rear suspension and Haldex coupling was removed the Beetle’s multilink rear suspension came out next. Here is a photo of both rear multi-link assemblies out of the car:

Next out come the gas tanks. As seen in the photo below, the Golf R tank is on the left and the Beetle tank is on the right. The Golf R tank (left) has a saddle design to allow room for the drive shaft and exhaust. This means the floorpan design is different in the Golf R and we’re going to need to do some surgery.

And finally here is the undercarriage with the rear suspension, Haldex coupling and gas tanks removed:

Next installment will be prepping for body modifications necessary to accommodate the Golf R’s Haldex coupling and different multilink setup. We’ve also got some wheel information and will have engine buildout as well. Lots to do…


More photos from today’s progress can be found in the gallery below in much larger sizes: