Mar 31, 2014 update to the Volkswagen Beetle TDi project car

Tiring Choices For Our Beetle

It may live outside in a dark driveway, but our Beetle is destined to be victorious. We park a Miata next to it in hopes that they'll give each other pointers.
Lions and tires and bears! We don't know what to do with all of this rubber.
The competition, seen here training for the match.

It’s fairly common for keys to project cars, like this 2013 Volkswagen Beetle, to move around the office based on who’s doing what. And with a project car usually come spare parts: things like the stock exhaust system or the original lug wrench. You know—the little odds and ends that are left over as things are changed.

So we were surprised when we asked for the Beetle’s spares. The answer was “uh, you better bring your trailer.” Turns out the car has 3 spare sets of tires, and 2 spare sets of wheels. Choosing tires for the weekend’s Central Florida Region autocross in Geneva, Florida wasn’t easy.

Including the tires on the car, we have four choices: the stock Continentals, a set of BFGoodrich Super Sport AS tires, a set of BFG Rivals, and a set of BFG g-Force R1s.

This plethora of options begs the question: what is our goal for the upcoming autocross? It’s just a local event, and the hip thing to do is run the rivals in the SCCA’s new “Street” class. We’d be driving a fairly competitive car against a ton of competition.

The other obvious option is to run the R1s in the “Street R” class, because this is the last year we’ll be able to run tires like this in a class for stock cars. The R1s aren’t safe to drive to the event on, though, so we’d have to shove them in the trunk, then change tires in the paddock.

Rivals or R1s? That is the question. There’s one more variable, though: we invited an old friend to the autocross, and he’s planning on bringing his new Golf GTI.

Of course, he brags about the raw speed that his GTI embodies at every opportunity; how it is always winning races and carving through corners. Sure, GTIs are great, but we think our Beetle can do better. And besides, what’s more embarrassing than losing in your new hot hatch? Losing to a diesel Beetle in your new hot hatch!

This kind of thing is what friends are for. We brought the BFG R1s, and hoped he wouldn’t notice that we used slicks to gain an unfair advantage.

Think you know who won? Let us know in the comments section below. It’s going to be a VW on VW grudge match, with the end result being a new autocrosser, and possibly a new perception of this “cute” Beetle.

Or we’ll lose, and explain it away with some journalistic trickery. Either way, wish us luck!

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