Like the fat kid from Math Club who came to the high school reunion with something to prove, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo wants everyone to do a double take and notice that it’s no longer the archetypal chick car. The new VW wants it to be OK for a guy to purchase it and visit the Starbucks drive thru. It wants it known the latest version of the Beetle has a turbo in it, and it means business.
Doesn’t the now-flattened roofline says “I drink more beers than wine coolers” to you? After almost a decade of the New Beetle, VW has decided enough is enough. Cuteness overload has worn thin. The latest Beetle has visual cues that distinguish it from its predecessor. And it has the driving dynamics to make it feel more masculine. So, is the 2.0-liter turbo four mated to a double clutch automatic six-speed enough to propel this bug to a new dawn?
The new Beetle Turbo features the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine as the Eos I drove previously. The 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,800-5,000 RPM make driving this Beetle quite fun. Passing cars on the freeway was a breeze in S mode. It’s a full second quicker to 60 mph than the VW Eos Lux (6.3 seconds vs. 7.3) thanks to lower curb weigh. And it’s also half-second quicker than the new Jetta GLI, which also has the same engine but is heavier.
The six-speed DSG (double clutch auto) transmission optimizes for MPG, and constantly upshifts in short bursts. The best way to get the most out of the engine is to simply floor the accelerator from a complete stop and drop the transmission in S mode. Keep your foot planted. The new Beetle has a multilink rear suspension tuned for more comfort than driving dynamics. The car feels light in the back, which sudden turns and driving in loose gravel will communicate.
More Pictures of 2012 VW Beetle Turbo