Volkswagen has been positioning its forthcoming 2012 Beetle as more masculine and more of a driver's car, and while we've yet to get the chance to drive one, we continue to hear promising rumors emanating from both within and beyond Wolfsburg about the reimagined icon's newfound athleticism. If the sort of dynamic goodness has been baked-in that we've been lead to believe, we're right for getting even more excited about a promised R variation. Car and Driver is reporting that the higher-performance Beetle will bow at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and predictably enough, it will arrive with an uprated version of the 2.0-liter turbo already slung in between the Beetle Turbo's bulbous fenders. In that model, the force-fed four produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, but the R is expected to offer significantly more chutzpah. How much more? We can't be sure, but the pending Golf R, which uses the same engine, generates 270 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque overseas (it's also due in the U.S. shortly). C/D thinks that the Beetle R won't receive the Golf's all-wheel-drive system for cost reasons, however, so we'd expect a decrease in power in order to avoid excessive torque steer. According to the story, there's word that VW is considering building a Beetle R Cabriolet, as well. We'd normally be skeptical of the chances for such a specialized model to ever see the States, but VW has already confirmed that it will sell a TDI diesel-powered Beetle convertible in North America, so at this point, we're not going to rule anything out. und At the introduction of Volkswagen?s newest of Coleoptera this past April, a number of VW employees confirmed that the company eventually would offer a Beetle R featuring a more-powerful version of the Beetle?s optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four. That engine is used here in the Volkswagen GTI as well, and in both it and the Beetle Turbo, it?s good for 200 hp and 207 lb-ft. In the Golf R, which we expect to arrive in the States in the next 12 months, VW?s 2.0-liter is cranked up to 270 hp and 258 lb-ft in Europe. We?re guessing that the Beetle R, which will do without the Golf R?s all-wheel drive, will see a horsepower rating somewhere in the middle of that range: maybe 240 hp or so. You can bet on the suspension being stiffened substantially from that of the Beetle Turbo. Why stick with front-wheel drive and, therefore, offer less power than the Golf R? Price and complexity. The Golf R is going to cost something north of $30,000, and we imagine VW would like to keep the Beetle R closer to the regular Beetle Turbo?s $24,165 sticker. Several sources also tell us Volkswagen execs are considering greenlighting a Beetle R cabrio. Such a vehicle would be easy enough to build, but VW needs to evaluate whether the car would sell in meaningful numbers to justify constructing it. If the Beetle R cabrio does get the go-ahead, we?re confident it?ll be offered in the U.S. to hot-rodding, drop-topping hipsters. Too many sub-models of Beetle? This is just the beginning. As we saw with the past-gen car, there will be special editions galore, from Beetles sporting special paint schemes to cars with the approval of high-end jeans companies. Scientists do say, after all, that beetles account for 25 percent of all life-forms known on the planet. The new Volkswagen Beetle holds promise, but we?re hoping it never accounts for anywhere near that percentage of all the cars on the road.