Super Beetle – Surgery Complete

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 last installment we cut the rear spare tire well out of the Beetle to fit the much shallower Golf R spare tire well. This is necessary to get the Golf R rear multilink suspension and Haldex AWD coupling to fit properly. So after test fitting the new Golf R rear tire well sheetmetal, the next step was to prep everything for welding. Here APR’s techs get to work grinding and smoothing out surfaces to remove any paint, contaminants and other junk to ensure a solid weld that adheres properly:

Next up the welding begins:

Here is the rear hatch area after the initial welds are in place:

APR’s techs add seam sealer, under coating to match the factory coating and a round of paint to bring it back to a nearly stock look:

The same was done to the undercarriage as well. You can also see where the transverse cross member from the Golf R was welded the entire length:

With that part of the project complete and drying, the next step is to remove the engine from the Beetle:

In the photo below is the Beetle engine bay minus one 2.0T. On the left side of the photo underneath the windshield fluid reservoir is the large stock engine mount.

Here is a closeup of the stock engine mount:

In the photo below is the stock Beetle motor mount on the left and the new Volkswagen Racing motor mount on the right. The Volkswagen Racing piece uses a stiffer bushing material and has less flex compared to the stock factory mount. By upgrading these bushings to a stiffer material, it will create a more direct transfer of power. The downside to adding a stiffer bushing material is that more vibration will be transmitted to the cabin from the engine. Volkswagen Racing specifically worked on a material that isn’t has hardcore stiff as their actual racing bushings, but strikes a balance between a street performance and track material. APR has more information on the bushings HERE on their website.

Here is the new Volkswagen Racing engine mount now in place in the Beetle engine bay:

Next up are engine mods. The engine will be torn down and rebuilt with beefed up internals and a complete APR Stage IV setup. We’ll also get to specifics on suspension and brakes this week, plus some sneak peeks at wheels and more.

Stay tuned…


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