Of course, the car we'll see in Frankfurt--if indeed we see it at all--will likely be a "concept," near-production ready but perhaps not finalized in specification or construction. We expect the car to reach production sometime in early 2012.
So what might the Beetle R look like? It may be a lot like the Golf R it's based on, except without the useful cargo area, or it may be toned down a bit--and likely less expesive. If it's like the Golf R, that means a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower. A sporty suspension, unique badging, and other appearance upgrades.
Fun, to be sure, though likely to sport a fair amount of torque steer, as the Beetle R is expected to differ from the all-wheel drive Golf R in one crucial respect: front-wheel drive. If the Beetle R does opt for two drive wheels instead of four, the power rating might be knocked down a notch for that very reason. As Car and Driver reports, that is the plan, and the Beetle R will be held back to about 240 horsepower.
We'll be all over the Frankurt Auto Show, so if the Beetle R does make its appearance there, you'll have the first and freshest live images and information right here at MotorAuthority.