The rare Volkswagen Beetle RSi you didn’t know existed

by | Mar 26, 2022 - 1:43PM | Cars

The Volkswagen Beetle RSi, ever heard of it?

Like many mass-production cars, brands often release a special edition.

The Golf had the R32, the Porsche 924 had the Carrera GT and the Volkswagen Beetle had the Beetle RSi.

Volkswagen announced a limited run of a performance edition to the Beetle lineup in 2001, making it the coolest Beetle on earth.

This exotic Beetle was limited to just 250 units, so it’s safe to say it’s very unlikely you will see one around today.

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The RSi came as standard with a 221hp 3.2-litre VR6 engine that could also be found in many of the early performance Golfs.

This was essentially a performance Golf with Beetle parts.

Mated to the VR6 engine is a six-speed manual gearbox and Volkswagen’s 4×4 system ‘4 Motion’.

The car also featured a Remus twin-pipe exhaust for those extra crackles and downshift pops.

Many people believe that Porsche tuned the suspension.

But in fact, this was carried out in house at VW.

This was thought because the suspension was heavily modified, something Porsche was doing well (and still are to this day).

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The rear suspension was specially altered at the rear allowing for better track performance.

You may also notice some changes to the exterior such as wider wheel arches, fancy new OZ Superturismo wheels and a much larger road presence thanks to the impressive body kit and monumental rear spoiler.

On the inside, you will be surprised to see the interior is festooned in carbon fibre.

It’s everywhere, from the door panels to the instrument cluster surround.

VW also all fitted it with bright orange Recaro racing bucket seats and dashes of billet aluminium.

You certainly get a lot of carbon fibre for your money.

Speaking of money, this isn’t all that cheap for a beetle.

These days, a 2001-2003 Beetle RSI can go for about $65,000, which is the equivalent of a modern-day Audi A3 or BMW 2 series.

Despite its hefty price, we still think it’s worth a buy and is certainly an appreciating asset for those wishing to take good care of it.



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