In a running change set to take place this month, 2013 model-year versions of the Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Convertible Turbo and Jetta GLI will be fitted with a new, Gen III version of the 2.0-liter EA888 turbo engine that makes 210 horsepower. The additional 10 ponies reach full gallop at 5,300 rpm instead of the current 5,100 revs, but peak torque is unchanged at 207 lb-ft. While sharing the same basic design architecture as the Gen II engine, the new Gen III upgrade is eight pounds lighter thanks to features that include a thin-wall crankcase, numerous internal tweaks that help reduce friction and an exhaust header that's integrated into the cylinder head.

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According to VW, the upgraded engine trims 0-60 mph sprint times in the Beetle Turbo Coupe from 6.8 to 6.6 seconds. It also lowers that interval in the Jetta GLI to 6.7 ticks. Beyond a performance boost, VW estimates the Gen II engine will deliver up to 9 percent better mpg on the EPA city cycle and a 4-8 percent gain in the combined figure on both Beetle models. Other cosmetic changes that accompany the arrival of this enhanced force-fed motivator include R-Line bumpers with grained black surfaces, chrome-framed turn signals up front and a rear diffuser on the Beetle Turbo/Beetle Turbo Convertible, plus LED taillamps on all Jetta GLI trim grades.

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Volkswagen also used the engine announcement to confirm pricing for the new 2013 Beetle Turbo Coupe R-line model. This replacement for the current Beetle Turbo with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation starts at $30,930 when equipped with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. As VW outlined previously when it previewed the 2014 Beetle Turbo Cabrio R-Line, the exterior enhancements include unique front/rear fascia treatments, bi-xenon headlights with LED DRLs, 19-inch "Tornado" aluminum-alloy wheels and R-Line badges. Cabin upgrades are highlighted by a unique "chrome vanadium" dashboard panel, stainless-steel sill plates and an R-line logo on the steering wheel.


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