Volkswagen to Unveil 2013 Diesel Beetle TDI at Chicago Auto Show

American auto enthusiasts will get their first in-person glimpse of the diesel-powered 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI when the 2012 Chicago Auto Show opens its doors to the public this Friday.

When the “New Beetle” was launched in 1999, Volkswagen offered an optional 1.9-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine but stopped offering it in model year 2006 in response to tougher emissions standards.

Volkswagen’s new Beetle TDI engine features “clean diesel” technology that allows it to meet the disparate emissions standards of all 50 states.  The emissions reducing features include a gas exhaust recirculation system, a particulate filter and three separate catalytic converters: one for oxides of nitrogen (NOx), one for oxidation r and one for hydrogen sulfide.

The new turbocharged direct injection (TDI) 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine is rated at 236 pound-feet of torque and 140 horsepower. According to Volkswagen, the 2013 diesel VW Beetle TD will deliver an EPA estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg city / 39 mpg highway, or a combined efficiency of 32 to 33 mpg.

VW has also fitted the engine with crankshaft counterweights and balance shafts to minimize the signature low-idling “rattle” associated with diesel engines. Buyers will have the option of choosing between Volkswagen’s six-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG) automatic transmission and a six-speed manual transmission.

The exterior of the new Beetle TDI will feature 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome accents along the side window line and a TDI badge located beneath the VW logo on the tailgate. Buyers will also have the option of a Sunroof model.

Interior features include a secondary instrument cluster containing an oil temperature and turbo boost gauge and a stopwatch.

A new audio package with a touchscreen display, six-disc CD changer and SD memory card reader will be standard on the entry-level model. Buyers of the Sunroof model will receive an upgrade to the Premium VIII audio system. The top-of-the-line model will feature the Premium VIII audio system with a 400-Watt Panasonic subwoofer and a built-in GPS navigation system with 5-in touchscreen display.

Pricing for the 2013 Beetle TDI has not yet been announced but is expected to be comparable to pricing for the Golf and Jetta TDI models.

The new Beetle is expected to begin arriving in dealer showrooms in late spring.

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