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Auto Show : 2012 Chicago Auto Show

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI: Chicago Auto Show

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2012 Volkswagen Beetle

author photo by Nick Jaynes

Volkswagen unveils 2013 Beetle TDI at this year's Chicago Auto Show

Third model of the Beetle and the most fuel efficient yet

2013 Beetle TDI slated to hit showrooms sometime this summer


Rounding out the Beetle lineup is the 2013 Beetle TDI. Powered by a 2-liter turbocharged inline four cylinder diesel engine, VW estimates the Beetle TDI will achieve 29 MPG in the city and 39 on the highway making it both stylish and fuel efficient. This not-so thirsty diesel four produces an adequate 140 horsepower and a staggering 236 pound feet of torque. Bolted to the turbo diesel power plant is an optional six-speed manual or dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.

Though not the first diesel-powered Beetle in the US, it is the first since 2006-when the last Beetle TDI was discontinued stateside. This one, however, is much more refined. Being the Germans that they are, engineers at VW have included a forged steel crankshaft that uses just four counterweights, instead of eight, to reduce bearing load and noise emissions. The attention to detail doesn't end there. The pistons incorporate annular channels complete with oil sprayers designed to cool the piston-ring zone. Also a pair of counter-rotating balancer shafts is situated below the crankshaft in the oil pan. Though that might sound like incomprehensible jargon to a layperson, it's music to any German's ears. So believe us when we tell you, it's a good thing.

Beyond that, the Beetle TDI is pretty much the same as the other models. The 2013 Beetle TDI features more masculine lines than the previous model, electric power steering, and VW's new no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program amongst many other desirable features.

Customers eager to get a hold of the Beetle TDI needn't wait long as it is scheduled to hit showrooms sometime this summer.

What it means to you: Volkswagen conjures up just one more reason to buy the new Beetle: a peppy fuel-efficient diesel.

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI: Chicago Auto Show