Only 250 of the race-bred bugs were ever built.
The Nürburgring attracts cars of all shapes and sizes, not to mention motorcycles, vans, busses, and yes, even the occasional hearse. Performance-oriented vehicles are certainly in the majority, and patient spectators are sometimes treated to glimpses of rare models getting an exercise on the ‘Rings endless corners. The folks at statesidesupercars on YouTube were rewarded in just such a manner recently, as their cameras caught a very rare Volkswagen Beetle RSi turning laps.
How rare is this car? Only 250 were built from 2001 through 2003, and for those who don’t recall exactly what made the RSi special, it wasn’t just an appearance package. Each car received VW’s 221-horsepower 3.2-liter VR6 engine, connected to a six-speed manual transmission that funneled power to all four wheels. The suspension was considerably reworked for race duties, and the body wore special fenders with an RSi specific body kit that included a massive spoiler and rear diffuser, all functional. In other words, it was built to be a Beetle with legitimate track cred.
Odd are quite good that you’ve never seen this car on the street no matter where you live, but that holds especially true in the U.S. because Volkswagen only offered the RSi in Europe. It also had a price tag in the neighborhood of $80,000, which was absolutely mental for a Beetle in 2001. Accounting for inflation, that same car would be over $110,000 today.
So yeah, just seeing one is truly something special. But to see one actually at a track, being used in the exact manner for which it was built, is positively inspiring. The fact that it’s also wearing the proper stripes and number plate from Herbie – the undisputed most famous Bug of all time – makes this sighting even sweeter.
Source: statesidesupercars via YouTube