At last week’s Detroit Auto Show, we got our first glimpse of what an all-electric Volkswagen Beetle could look like thanks to VW’s e-Bugster concept car. 

At next month’s Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen will unveil another green-minded Beetle, but this time we won’t be seeing a concept car. 

Instead, we’ll be witnessing the return of the oil-burning TDI engine to VW’s retro-styled compact. 

The keen reader may note that Volkswagen has sold diesel engines for the Beetle before. And they’d be right. 

In fact, since the New Beetle was first launched in 1998, there have always been diesel-engine options offered somewhere in the world. 

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo – Copyright High Gear Media

2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo – Copyright High Gear Media

For a limited time (1999-2006), it was even possible to buy a diesel-engined VW Beetle in the U.S.

However, after the 2006 model year, Volkswagen dropped its 1.9-liter, 4-cylinder turbodiesel option for the U.S. market after it failed to meet stringent emissions regulations. 

Luckily, for U.S. clean diesel fans, the TDI engine is back. 

This time, it will be cleaner, leaner, and more powerful. 

Volkswagen hasn’t detailed any specifics of the car or the engine, but we think the Beetle’s new engine option will be the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that gives the 2012 Golf, 2012 Jetta and 2012 Passat such great gas mileage. 

It’s also likely that the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI will come with the same six-speed manual or six-speed, twin clutch Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) found in the 2012 Golf TDI.

We’ll know more as the 2012 Chicago Auto Show gets underway, but in the meantime, make sure you bookmark our exclusive Chicago Auto Show page to keep up with the latest news from next month’s show. 


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