Volkwagen's rally exploits at the WRC level are well known, the manufacturer having netted the world title last year. However, the firm also participated in another form of dirt racing at the international level: Global Rally Cross (GRC).
The German automaker partnered with the famous Andretti family to form Andretti Rallycross. Last year the outfit debuted two VW Beetles in the closing stages of the 2014 season. For the 2015 season, the team has chosen to change the engine specification from the car that ran in the 2014 series.
In place of that car’s 1,6-litre turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder motor, now lies a 2,0-litre TSI engine that produces 414 kW and 630 N.m of torque, an improvement over the 2014 car. With that power and a mass of 1 300 kg the 2015 GRC VW Beetle can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 2,0 seconds thank to all-wheel drive traction and a sequential gearbox offering lightning quick shifts.
Ex Formula One pilot, Scott Speed and Tanner Foust will resume driving duties for Andretti Rallycross. Speed claimed three victories in the 2014 season earning him third in the 2014 driver’s championship. Foust is a former GRC champion, in 2011 and 2012, and runner-up in 2013 so the team should be regular visitors to the podium as well as contenders for the overall championship.
“We are very much looking forward to the start of the GRC season with the Beetle,” said Jost Capito, Volkswagen's motorsport director . “The 2015 Beetle GRC has been further developed, based on all our experience we gained with the brand new Beetle last year. We are looking forward to a serious title challenge with Scott Speed and Tanner Foust in 2015 and we are sure that the Beetles will be real fan favorites again.”
2015 Global Rallycross Championship calendar:
- May 31: Ft Lauderdale, FL
- June 20: Daytona, FL (I)
- June 21: Daytona, FL (II)
- July 5: United States Military Base
- July 25: Detroit, MI (I)
- July 26: Detroit, MI (II)
- August 15: Washington, DC
- September 12: Los Angeles, CA (I)
- September 13: Los Angeles, CA (II)
- October 3: Barbados (I)
- October 4: Barbados (II)
- November 4: Las Vegas, NV