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by David Zalstein

The Volkswagen Beetle GSR has gone on sale in Europe, marking 40 years since the original GSR debuted on the European market.

First seen at the 2013 Chicago auto show in February, the new Volkswagen Beetle GSR pays tribute to the 1973 ‘Yellow-Black Racer’ special edition based on the Beetle 1303 S – with GSR standing for Gelb-Schwarze Renner or Gold-Black Racer.

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The new Beetle GSR is limited to 3500 cars worldwide, powered by the same 155kW/280Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the Golf GTI, and is finished in yellow with a black bonnet, bootlid, roof and exterior mirrors.

The black and yellow colour scheme continues with stripes and ‘GSR’ lettering down the doors, a larger than standard rear spoiler with a black lip, and R-Line sports seats, a flat-bottom leather sports steering wheel and black floor mats all highlighted by contrasting yellow stitching.

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Sitting on 19-inch ‘Tornado’ alloy wheels and available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the Volkswagen Beetle GSR claims 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 229km/h.

With a small right-hand-drive allocation already confirmed for production, Volkswagen Australia managing director Anke Koeckler told CarAdvice in February, that the GSR has been presented as an option to the local division.

“[The Beetle GSR is] also probably a car we have to look into as it is a performance-oriented car and, you know, Australians love it,” Koeckler said.

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Also available for order in Platinum Grey and Black, the new Volkswagen Beetle GSR starts at £24,900 ($38,200) with the first European deliveries expected in September.

Read CarAdvice’s 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Review.

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