While Volkswagen didn't host a press conference to launch its new diesel Beetle, the carmaker put the 2013 Beetle TDI on display at the Chicago Auto Show in its first U.S. appearance.
It's really the return of a long-lost friend, since VW sold the previous-generation New Beetle with a 1.9-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine from its 1999 launch through the 2006 model year.
Stricter emission standards sidelined the TDI Beetle after that, but it's back in the new generation that debuted for 2012.
According to details released last week by Volkswagen, the 2013 VW Beetle TDI is projected to deliver EPA fuel-economy ratings of 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.
That will likely produce a combined rating of 32 or 33 mpg, though VW Jetta TDI owners will tell you that the EPA ratings consistently underestimate their real-world fuel efficiency.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel is rated at 140 horsepower and a generous 236 pound-feet of torque, so the Beetle TDI should deliver the usual low-end surge of power beloved by diesel drivers.
To refine the engine, VW has fitted balance shafts and crankshaft counterweights to smooth out the customary diesel rattle.
Buyers can opt for either a six-speed manual transmission or Volkswagen's "DSG" six-speed dual-clutch automatic manual transmission.
2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, Chicago Auto Show, Feb 2012Enlarge Photo
Special features on the new VW Beetle TDI include a unique design for the 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome accent strip along the side window line, and of course various TDI badges.
A secondary instrument pod, containing not only gauges for oil temperature and turbo boost, but also a digital stopwatch, is located on the top center panel of the 2013 Beetle TDI instrument panel, distinguishing it inside from lesser models.
Pricing for the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI hasn't yet been announced, but the car will appear at VW dealers later this year.