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by Jay Traugott
Looking for fun under the sun with some added green as well? Here's your best buy.
Volkswagen is getting serious about its latest Beetle. Following the balloon-like design of the previous model, the German automaker wants the new car to appeal to a broader audience - and by that we mean men as well. So far, the sleek and somewhat muscular new hatchback seems to be doing well, but soon it will be joined by its convertible sibling. For those looking to keep the air clean and enjoy it too, the drop-top neo-bug is shaping up to be an ideal ride.
The EPA has just released official figures for the 2013 VW Beetle Convertible and the numbers are impressive. In fact the diesel model is posting numbers similar to a hybrid, but without the heavy battery that goes with the territory. The US government agency certifies that the upcoming Beetle Convertible TDI with its 140-horsepower four and six-speed manual is the most efficient convertible in the country, returning 28 mpg in the city and 41 on the highway, beating out competition like the Mazda MX-5 (22/28), Fiat 500C (27/32), Ford Mustang V6 Convertible (19/31) and even VW's own Eos (22/30).
Beetle Convertible TDI buyers can also opt for the DSG dual-clutch transmission, but the EPA hasn't released its fuel ratings yet. For those seeking some more power, the more powerful 2.0-liter TDI convertible was rated at a very respectable 21/30 mpg. Official pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the turbocharged TDI convertible to cost a bit more than its fixed-roof compatriot (just over $25k with the DSG) but below the $30k mark. The Beetle convertible has yet to debut. Photos displayed are of the 2012 E-Bugster concept.