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Volkwagen Beetle (2012) gets GTI-spec engines

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700

It's a Herbie GTI! Volkwagen is topping off the Beetle range with high-powered petrol and diesel variants.

There are also two new special edition trimlines to choose from, and the option of a Fender-developed sound system for audiophiles.

So, is this a new VW Beetle GTI?

No, despite the 197bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine being similarly powerful to the one in the current Golf hot hatch, not to mention the Scirocco coupe. Offered in manual and twin-clutch DSG form, it slings the Beetle to 62mph in 7.5sec and on to 139mph.

The top-spec diesel also announced today is slightly tardier, but wins back at the pumps. The 138bhp 2.0-litre TDI takes 9.5sec to hit 62mph, and runs out of puff at 123mph. More importantly, Volkswagen claims it'll return 57.6mpg and 129g/km.

The Beetle TDI comes in either mid-level Design or higher-level Sport trim. The 2.0-litre petrol model is available in Sport or special-edition 'Turbo Black' and 'Turbo Silver' specification, complete with ‘Turbo’ decals in (no prizes for guessing) silver or black along the side, and 19-inch alloys.

The 2012 VW Beetle range

Design trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and iPod compatibility, foglights and manual air-conditioning. With a TDI motor that'll set you back at least £20,085.

If you upgrade to a Sport Beetle with the new petrol engine, you'll get 18-inch rims, tinted glass, cruise control, sports seats, parking sensors, gloss black interior trim and climate control, for a base price of £22,295.

The 2.0-litre petrol Sport model has racier mods like four-link rear suspension, twin chromed exhaust pipes, red brake callipers and a body-coloured rear diffuser, likely to be of more visual than aerodynamic benefit.
A further £500 buys you the Fender sound pack. Developed with the famous electric guitar firm, a 400W output and a subwoofer, along with switchable three-colour illumination surrounding the front loudspeakers, aims to endow this Sixties throwback machine with the full Jimi Hendrix experience.

Special edition 'Turbo' Beetles start from £22,995 for the manual, and £24,505 if you want a self-shifter.

By Ollie Kew