Volkswagen Super Beetle Build by APR and VW of America

This Volkswagen Super Beetle is a featured build on by APR in Alabama, linked at the bottom of the page. It was created in collaboration with VW of America, who chose the shop because of their well known reputation for OEM-quality modifications. The goal of this build was to create a monster all wheel drive turbo Beetle that would appear like something that might have come straight from the factory, only slightly altered for performance. They used an AWD system out of a donor Golf R 2.0, and it’s stock 4 cylinder 2.0 Turbo received modifications giving it in excess of 500 horsepower. Naturally, big brakes and suspension upgrades were installed to handle all of it’s new found power.



From the exterior it is hard to believe what is lurking underneath. It immediately reminded us of Paul Newman’s custom 1963 Beetle Convertible which had a mid mounted Indy car engine and suspension, and remained nearly stock looking from outside. Find our feature of it linked below at the bottom of this page.

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Painstaking detail was given to this particular Super Beetle in order to make sure that every possible issue was addressed, including use of Audi TT-RS drop spindles, TT-RS sub frames, and APR’s lower aluminum control arms.

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They wanted to keep the AWD system looking as factory as possible, so a lot of cutting was made to make the fuel tanks fit underneath with the Golf R’s multi-link fully-independent rear suspension, Haldex AWD coupling and associated drive shafts.


H&R Ultra Performance Coil Overs and Sport Sway Bars were installed to help reduce body roll and give quick turn-in. APR used the aluminum Audi TT-RS drop spindle since the Beetle’s stock knuckles are made from heavy cast metal. They also have a lower control arm connecting point that is lower than the stock Beetle piece.

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APR Australia worked with Harding Performance to create a polished aluminum lower control arm. In addition to being much lighter and stronger than the Beetle’s stamped steel pieces, APR Australia notes that these are designed to gain 1.5 degreese of positive static caster, providing an “Anti Lift/Dive” advantage.


The larger 13.85″ slotted and ventilated rotors have more surface area and dissipate heat much faster than the stock rotors, and the Volkswagen Racing six-piston calipers also have a much larger braking surface area with more even distribution of clamping force.

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The rear was upgraded to the blue Golf R32 calipers and Volkswagen Racing camber adjustment plates were put up front. Even the space saver spare wheel well from the Golf R was moved over to give this AWD conversion a very OEM stock look.

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We are big Volkswagen fans so we were happy to so see VWoA backing up this build. The APR Super Beetle ended up with a much deserved win of the Gran Turismo Best European Import award at the 2012 SEMA show. Overall, it is an absolutely awesome car that we would love to get our hands on some day (soon) for a test drive.

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Find it here at:

Paul Newman 1963 VW Beetle Convertible/Mid Engine V8 Indy Car Build:…r-transformion/

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Paul Newman’s 1963 VW Bug Convertible/Mid Engine Indy Car Transformion |
  2. VW Golf R 2.0 APR Stage 3 Build | The Car Build Index

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