Volkswagen has ambitious plans for its newly-restyled Beetle, and the United States is seen as the car’s primary market. It’s no coincidence, then, that Volkswagen is displaying the Beetle R concept prominently in its booth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, which kicks off today.

If you appreciate the styling of the 2012 Beetle, you’ll probably like the looks of the Beetle R even more. It’s got larger bumpers and fenders to cover the car’s wider track, functional air intakes for engine and brake cooling, quad exhaust pipes and an interior compete with deeply bolstered sport seats.

If Britain’s Autocar is correct, the Beetle R will see production if there’s a positive reception for it in Los Angeles. If it is built, it’s likely that the production version will see slightly more conservative styling than the concept (as is usually the case).

Since the VW Beetle shares a platform with the VW Golf, building a Beetle R won’t require a significant amount of engineering. We’d expect the Beetle R to retain the Golf R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter motor and 4Motion all-wheel-drive, but we’d also expect it to slot into the lineup below the Golf R.

Having conflicting high-end models doesn't make sense for Volkswagen, so the Beetle would likely become the entry-level R spec car in VW's lineup. In other words, if the Beetle R sees production, we’d expect it to come with less than the Golf R’s 256 horsepower, selling for less than the Golf R’s $33,990 sticker price.

Want more news from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show? You’ll find all our coverage here.