The New Beetle has caught up with the rest of the VW family..... If you visit Volkswagen's Web site, the resounding theme is their commitment to redesigning and reengineering. And while they're not going to be changing the exterior of the Beetle any time soon (except a possible convertible version), they continue to tweak the engine and offer different levels of power for the New Beetle. The New Beetle has caught up with the rest of the VW family, now offering the Turbo S, the latest and most powerful addition to the power Beetle family. The turbocharged engine has 180 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The previous model, the 1.8T, has 150 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, which is supposed to result in a difference of 0.8 sec in the 0 to 60-mph time trial. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine on both cars has five valves/cylinder, instead of the traditional four, and double overhead camshafts. Also, the cars have an aftercooler for high-density intake air. This combination makes for a more-efficient, powerful engine. I experienced these attributes in a purely visceral way. For example, when stopped after sitting at a green light too long, I punched the gas and experienced "push-you-back-into-the seat-acceleration." I felt my head lurch back as the car thrust forward. The New Beetle, four years after its initial release, is still a head turner. And the Turbo S has a few extra standard features that attract even more attention. A dual-chrome exhaust and rear spoiler give it a sporty look. The car also features 17-in. alloy wheels, and a special brushed alloy trim. The standard sunroof was appreciated with the warm, sunny weather we were experiencing (said weather precluded use of the standard heated seats). The Monsoon sound system with a six-CD changer made the ride even
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