Volkswagen will unveil the third model in the Beetle lineup at the Chicago Auto Show: the new Beetle TDI Clean Diesel model, which has manufacturer fuel economy estimates of 39 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city. The Beetle TDI, will go on sale this summer as a 2013 model. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
The VW Beetle TDI uses the 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection Clean Diesel engine produces 140 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque.
The current engine features a cast-iron cylinder block and an aluminum-alloy cylinder head. It also utilizes some subtle design elements that contribute to longevity and the reduction of noise, vibration, and harshness. The forged steel crankshaft, for instance, uses just four counterweights, instead of eight, to reduce bearing load and noise emissions. The pistons incorporate annular channels into which oil is sprayed for cooling the piston-ring zone. A pair of counter-rotating balancer shafts is situated below the crankshaft in the oil pan.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or VW’s innovative, dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic. The six-speed, transversely-mounted DSG unit features two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears—first, third, fifth and reverse—while the other operates the even gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is 71.2 inches wide (3.3 inches wider), 58.5 inches tall (0.5 inches lower) and 168.4 inches long (7.3 inches longer). The new focal point is the C-pillar. The development team also increased the car’s track widths and wheelbase. The changed proportions give the Beetle a powerful and dynamic appearance. The TDI differs externally from the 2.5 and Turbo in having unique 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, TDI badging, and a chrome trim line that caps the top of the door’s sheetmetal.
Inside, the car is distinctively styled, with colors and shapes that harken back to the original Beetle’s interior. Three round gauges are arranged in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge), providing key information at a glance. A multifunction display is integrated in the speedometer, which is housed in the central position in the binnacle.
The Volkswagen Beetle TDI models are fitted with a strut-type front suspension with a lower control arm and a 22-mm-diameter anti-roll bar. At the back, there’s a torsion beam arrangement that has coil springs and telescopic dampers. Like the Beetle Turbo, the TDI uses rack-and-pinion steering with electric power assistance.
All Beetle models have standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake pressure distribution (EBD). The Beetle TDI has 11.3-inch-diameter vented front discs and 10.7-inch-diameter rear disc brakes.
There are three Volkswagen Beetle TDI Clean Diesel trim lines: TDI; TDI with Sunroof; and TDI with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation. All three are very well equipped, with standard features such as power windows with one-touch up/down; cruise control; V-Tex Leatherette seating; the kaeferfach secondary glovebox; Bluetooth®; a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with audio controls; three auxiliary gauges; Keyless entry with push-button start; and a Media Device Interface with iPod® cable.