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Move over Herbie, Volkswagen revs up its highest-performance Beetle

Consumer Reports News

Volkswagen is bringing more power to the people with a revised four-cylinder engine that will bring a power boost to the Beetle Turbo and Jetta GLI this month, making it the most powerful Beetle ever offered in the United States.

Produced at a new factory in Silao, Mexico, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 10 more horsepower than the outgoing engine, for a 210-hp peak output at 200 higher revs. Torque is the same at 207 lb.-ft of twist. (See our VW Beetle road test.)

VW claims fuel economy will be slightly improved, and 0-60 mph times are shaved by a tenth or two, depending on application. Making this Beetle scoot quicker and burn less fuel is helped from the car having reduced mass, shedding eight pounds from the powertrain.

To announce this power has arrived, the Beetle Turbo and Beetle Turbo convertible wear new R-Line bumpers with grained, black surfaces and chrome-framed turn signals. These R-Line models wear 19-inch wheels, and get Xenon headlamps, stainless-steel kickplates, and obligatory badging. Pricing starts at $30,135 for a coupe with a six-speed manual transmission. (Check out the iPhone-friendly new VW iBeetle.)

The Jetta GLI is dressed up with LED taillights. That's all.

More power and better fuel economy. Sounds good to us.

Check out our preview Volkswagen Beetle video review below, and click to watch our VW Jetta GLI video.

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