The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Turbo Convertible and Jetta GLI feature a number of changes heading into sales this month. Along with some aesthetic differences, the biggest improvement is the updated version of VW's EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI engine.
This improvement comes in the form of more power and reduced weight. Compared to the second generation TSI engine, the third gen receives a power increase of 10 hp, bringing it to 210 hp. While torque numbers remain the same, peak power is generated 200 revs higher at 5300 rpm.
Thanks to the power increase, Volkswagen say the Beetle Turbo coupe is 0.2 seconds faster to 60 mph (6.6) than the previous generation, while the Jetta GLI is only a tenth faster (6.7) equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and two tenths faster equipped with Vdub's DSG dual-clutch trans.
Not only is the new Gen 3 EA888 engine given a power boost, but it also benefits from better fuel economy. In Beetle models, there is a combined improvement of between four and eight percent and nine percent for city driving, according to VW.
Adding to the engine improvements for the 2013 models is a reduction in the overall engine weight that comes in at 290 pounds, a loss of eight pounds. This reduction is helped by these improvements: a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearing for the twin balancer shafts, and a crankshaft with four counterweights instead of eight.
The 2013 Beetle Turbo and Beetle Turbo Convertible receive some cosmetic upgrades, including new R-Line bumpers which feature grained black surfaced and chrome-framed turn signals at front and rear (diffuser). The Jetta GLI gets less cosmetically but is helped in terms of rear visibility with new LED taillights on all three trims.
Replacing the Beetle Turbo Sunroof, Sound and Navigation package is the Beetle Turbo R-Line. Also equipped with the new 210 hp engine, this model features more aggressive styling with front and rear bumpers, 19-inch 'Tornado' aluminum-alloy rims, R-Line badging and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs. The inside of the R-Line reveals custom stainless-steel doorsills, steering wheel badge and a 'chrome vanadium' dash panel. Starting at $30,135 with a six-speed manual, the R-Line Beetle Turbo seems a better fit for the guys out there. More aggressive, less flower power.