Entomologists in the UK are set for an exciting day, and not just because the ants are flying. There’s another kind of flying bug about: the Volkswagen Beetle with a 2.0-litre 138bhp TDI turbodiesel engine.
The latter is enough to propel this bug from zero to 62 mph in a far from sluggish 9.5 seconds and can reach 123 mph. Of equal interest, however, will be its 57.6 mpg combined economy, and 129 g/km of CO2 rating.
The new versions are available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearboxes. The TDI comes in either mid-level Design or top-line Sport trim. Specification levels are high. Design trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels in a choice of two styles, Bluetooth telephone preparation, an RCD 510 DAB CD/radio with MDI multi-device interface (for connecting an iPod or similar), front fog lights, rear Isofix preparation, an alarm, manual air conditioning, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel and body-coloured door and dashboard panels. The range-topping Sport specification adds 18-inch alloys in a choice of styles, tinted glass, cruise control, sports seats, parking sensors, gloss black door mirrors (silver or black on ‘Turbo’ special editions), gloss black dashboard and door panel and 2Zone electronic climate control.
A wide range of optional equipment is also available on all Beetle models, including Keyless Access, satellite navigation systems, bi-xenon headlights and a selection of different alloy wheel designs. The option that will make the biggest impact, however, is the Fender sound pack. Developed in conjunction with the eponymous electric guitar firm, this audiophile’s delight offers a 400W output and a subwoofer, along with switchable three-colour illumination surrounding the front loudspeakers, all for just £500.