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 our deadline to ship the car to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show has arrived. There is nothing more we can do for the next three days till it arrives in Vegas on Saturday. At that point I’ll be meeting the car there to get the special rear wing installed and get our fifteen52 wheels mounted. Then we head out to the desert for a photography session and finally back her into the H&R Springs booth at the SEMA Show. The work to finish the car went on till the very last minute and we’ve got a few more photos to share.
The guys installing the wrap tackle the front bumper which is the worst piece on the car. All those scoops, intakes and cutouts combined with the compound curves make it a real challenge.
While they continue at the front, APR installed our special Super Beetle badge that they 3D printed for us:
APR also modified the exhaust tips on their RSC Golf R exhaust system to work with our center cut out:
Finally our Super Beetle comes off the lift and finally sits on its own wheels mostly complete. We transferred over the stock turn signals and the stock driving lamps to the front bumper as well:
The rear wing has been removed and is in the rear hatch to be shipped out to Vegas in case we need it. However we have a different rear wing going on the car once it arrives at SEMA. Another view of the back as it is prepared to be backed out of APR’s shop:
And FINALLY out in the sunshine…
Then our Beetle gets loaded up for its two and half day journey to SEMA:
So for the next several days we can take a little break and relax since there is nothing we can do at this point till I arrive Saturday in Las Vegas and we get the new rear wing installed and fifteen52′s custom wheels. After some photos in the desert and maybe a little video as well it will finally hit the show floor where it will be on display in the H&R Springs booth for the entire week of SEMA. We’ve also submitted our Super Beetle project in the 10th Annual Gran Turismo Awards where our car will be judged by Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi himself. If it is chosen as the best European Modified at the 2012 SEMA Show our Super Beetle will be rendered and available as a download extra for Gran Turismo 5. So lots to look forward to and more to be done.
Lastly this would be a good time to point a few things out. APR’s team managed to build this entire car in two and half weeks. The coordination of parts that needed to happen and certain tasks that need to be completed in a given order was tremendous. I’d personally like to thank Doug and his crew in the shops at APR that were in the trenches making this happen even at ridiculous hours. They are a first rate group and their attention to detail throughout this project exceeded every expectation I had. I need to give another big shout out to Arin at APR who went above and beyond to send me photos throughout this project even at odd hours. I’d also like to point out Roland at H&R Springs who constantly called me every time we made an update telling me how excited he was to see this actually happening. The fact that he also helped out with suspension upgrades and a preemo spot in his booth at SEMA is just more icing on the cake. HRE wheels stepped up with a back up set of wheels at the last minute when it looked like Matt and Brad at fifteen52 might have supplier issues, but in the end we’ll get the wheels we originally planned on. Rory at Foam Molders who worked us in to produce the rear spoiler, Lisa at Oracal who helped us track down this new color in time to get the project done and Ed at Recaro who scrambled to find the necessary pieces to make this happen. Last but not least is our friends at Volkswagen of America who have supported this project and everything we do over the years. It isn’t often that a manufacturer extends open arms to enthusiasts and an enthusiast website the way VW has.
All of this is what makes Volkswagen ownership different. For a company that sells relatively few cars in the U.S. market, VW has a following that is second to none and a vibrant aftermarket full of great people like those I mentioned above and many, many more. It is the reason 15 years later running VWvortex that I still love what I do.
As for Super Beetle? We aren’t even close to finished yet. More updates coming soon. Thanks for reading.
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More photos from today’s progress can be found in the gallery below in much larger sizes:
Super Beetle – Final Push to SEMA Show
Super Beetle – Volkswagen’s Official SEMA Press Release