HPA’s 700 HP SEMA Beetle is the Best Way to Say Goodbye

We were all saddened to see the Beetle die, but we all mourn in different ways. Some look back and some look far down the road—because they have 700 hp worth of Beetle below them and they really need to focus.

HPA out of BC, in Canada, is the latter. Makers of famously bonkers Golfs R, the team turned their attention to the Beetle ahead of this year’s SEMA show.

“There isn’t a person we could walk up to in a restaurant or venue who hasn’t had a Beetle touch their life in some way,” said Marcel Horn, the shop’s founder. “In a day and age before the internet and smartphones, Volkswagen offered this inherent interchangeability.”

So HPA found a customer and spent two years transforming a Beetle Dune into the HPA FTX700. In place of the car’s 4-cylinder, there is now a 3.2-liter VR6 with Mahle pistons, forged rods, Ferrea valve train, and a BorgWarner EFR9174 turbo. There’s also an integrated water meth system, a liquid-cooled intake, and 88 mm stainless steel exhaust system. It’s all funneled through a seven-speed transmission and a 4Motion AWD drivetrain. KW Clubsport Coilovers keep it all on the road, and TT RS subframes and hubs keep everything in place.

All in, it makes 705 hp and 790 lb-ft of torque and sits on 19-inch HRE RS105M mono block wheels. Hardly a surprise then that 6-piston, 355 mm brakes are required up front and 4-piston 335mm brakes in the rear are required.

And because 700 hp might not be quite enough to get this Beetle, the rear seats have been deleted and the front seats replaced with Recaro carbon-kevlar buckets.

A custom roll bar is likely a sensible addition, too, while Alcantara accents and a three-skull shift knob ensures that things look good, too.

“As you do anything with infatuated circumstances, you take a basic idea, and the complexity and the detail level in front of you grows,” said Horn. “With the exception of the bumpers, there is not a bolt, a nut, a shifted cable, a widget, an electronic control module, a wiring harness, a floorboard panel, tub suspension segment that has not been engineered, designed or built.”

As you might expect, the Beetle garnered some attention at SEMA and made the shortlist for SEMA’s Battle of the Builders award.

“It feels surreal for me as the owner and someone who has been such a passionate fan of the Beetle to have the opportunity at SEMA,” Horn said. “To be part of this is more than dreams are made of…I just hope we aid in leaving a memorable mark for the Beetle in everyone’s minds that walk through the show.”

a big thanks to the VW Newsroom for their help on this story