Volkswagen has only just unveiled the all-new Beetle at both the 2011 New York International Auto Show and Auto Shanghai 2011, yet even so, a sporty Volkswagen Beetle R is apparently already under consideration.

According to reports, Volkswagen insiders have suggested that the company wants to lose the somewhat feminine stereotype often associated with the Beetle, and is planning to do this by developing a sporty 'R' version. An inside source said in a recent Autocar report,

"It’s too early to discuss specifics at the moment. But you could reasonably expect power and performance comparable with that of other R models like the Scirocco and Golf."

Although definite details are a little hazy at this stage, speculation suggests the Beetle R will come equipped with a turbocharged engine delivering more than 187kW of power. The engine will be matched to a DSG dual-clutch transmission, helping it achieve 0-100km/h in a suspected sub-six-second range.

The new Volkswagen Beetle does have a good platform for a sporty hatch too, showcasing a wider and lower profile than the outgoing New Beetle range. Volkswagen has also said the new Beetle has been developed to offer "near class-leading structural rigidity", which should represent excellent handling characteristics.

A Sport variant has already been confirmed which will incorporate the 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine, also found in the Golf GTI, producing around 155kW of power and 280Nm of torque.

We'll be sure to provide more definite details as soon as they come about.