The Rallycross scene is booming just now, largely thanks to World RX Promoter, IMG Motorsport. But it’s also the fastest growing form of motorsports in the U.S., attracting big crowds at venues across the country.

Here in Europe a specially developed version of the Polo WRC competes against the hottest super-hatches from Citroen, Ford and Peugeot, but Volkswagen America have chosen to spice things up with a 552bhp version of the third-generation Beetle.

VW-Rallycross-Beetle_G1

It features a highly-modified version of VAG’s turbocharged direct-injection EA888 TSI engine mated to a custom built all-wheel-drive system.

They’ve partnered with Andretti Autosport to form the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, and will be running two cars in the series for drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. They’ll begin the season with modified Polo world rally cars, then switch over to the fire-breathing GRC Beetle for the Austin, Texas round in June.

Tanner Foust, GRC champion in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up in 2013, will drive the Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle while Scott Speed will be racing the 7UP entry for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team.

The car will be on show at the Chicago Auto Show which begins on Saturday.