Say Buh-Bye to Baja Bob: Our Off-Road Beetle is Gone

Are all-terrain tires and a body lift enough to make a road-going car ready for the trail? That’s precisely the question we sought to answer with Baja Bob.

A 2000 VW Beetle, Baja Bob sits on a two-inch lift helping to fit 28-inch BFGoodrich tires underneath of it. And adding big tires alone was enough to make this little bug half-decent off-road, though of course it still has plenty of drawbacks.

The 115 horsepower from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine never feels all that strong, and the combination of front-wheel drive and an open differential means you usually only have one-wheel drive, making ascent particularly tricky.

But remember the race car adage, “it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow,” this applies to off-road as well. Driving this little Beetle through the waters and mud of Moab, knowing it doesn’t belong there, is so much more satisfying than cruising those same flat trails in a new side-by-side, barley being challenged.

The Beetle doesn’t handle many obstacles, but even a mild hill climb feels like an adventure in Baja Bob, making it a ton of fun to drive.

But alas, our time with Baja Bob is at an end. A fun project while it lasted, it was time for the car to move on, so make sure you watch the video above telling you exactly what happened to Bob.