Find of the Day: 2003 Beetle RSi, the OG R

Unfortunately, this Beetle RSi is still about 10 years away from importability in the US so you’ll just have to envy those smug Europeans.

One of just 250 built, the Beetle RSi was, in many ways, the precursor to the Golf R32. First shown as a design study in 1999 at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen surprised everyone by actually selling the RSi in 2001.

Featuring the TT’s six-speed manual, an early 4Motion AWD system, and everyone’s favorite 3.2-liter, 24-valve, 225 hp VR6.

Unlike the R32, which we learned yesterday is a black panther, the Beetle RSi is more of a badger. Powerful enough to take on more venomous opposition—the car’s 0-60 times are on par with Boxters of the era—but egalitarian in its dispensation of violence.

By that, I mean that this is not a comfortable car. Having driven Ferdinand Piech’s own RSi, I can report that its suspension is so stiff that chiropractors call it the gravy train. Its Recaro’s are so unforgiving that they make Judge Dredd look charitable. And amenities are as foreign a word to it as ξένος.

It is, in short, a delight. And it can be yours for €48,500 (about $54,000 USD or nearly $73,000 CAD because a Canadian could import this).