Volkswagen to Unveil Diesel-Powered 2012 Beetle TDI in Chicago

Volkswagen has been priding itself on the fact that, according to the automaker, sells around 75 percent of all diesel passenger cars in the U.S. Get ready for that percentage to grow – at the Chicago Auto Show next month, VW will add the 2012 Beetle to its oil-burning repertoire.

The formula for the 2012 Beetle TDI is one that many diesel fans already know and love: powering the TDI will the same 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 found in the Golf, Jetta, and Passat TDI models. Transmission options will be the same six-speed manual and dual-clutch DSG automatics offered elsewhere in the Beetle lineup. Expect the turbodiesel Beetle to make 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, the same output as in VW’s other diesel cars. The Beetle will sacrifice a few mpg in the name of style over the hyper-efficient 42-mpg highway Golf TDI, but still make a very respectable 40 mpg on the highway.

Other engine options include a 2.5-liter I-5 good for 170 hp mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic, or a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 paired with either a six-speed manual or the six-speed DSG.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the Beetle TDI to start somewhere in the mid-$20,000 range, given the roughly $5-6000 premium the diesel mill warrants on the Passat, Golf, and Jetta and the Beetle’s $20,565 base price with destination. Stay tuned for full information on the oil-burning Beetle as it gets closer to the Chicago Auto Show.

Source: Chicago Auto Show

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2012 Volkswagen Beetle

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

MSRP $19,795 2.5 (Manual) Hatchback


22 City / 31 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):


Horse Power:

170 @ 5700