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Filed under: Convertible, Volkswagen, First Drives, Diesel

Top Down In North America's Only Diesel Convertible

Want proof that diesel is finally taking hold in North America? Look no further than this 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. For a while now, it's become easier to understand why more automakers are opting to pair their large-volume models with diesel, but it's only when a given technology or feature starts to infiltrate the industry's smaller segments that we can argue that something has truly taken hold. After an agonizingly slow buildup, we're prepared to say that the high-mileage fuel has finally come of age here, and the evidence is right under this VW's bulbous hood.

Consider this: Diesel has become so viable that it's trickled down to this car, a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche model. Niche number one? The Beetle is a retro-styled spinoff of VW's volume hatchback, the Golf. Niche number two? It's a convertible. It isn't until we get to niche number three that we even discuss its oil-burning nature. In fact, if you want to get even more stratified, the Tornado Red tester seen before you has a manual transmission, itself a lamentably narrow sliver of the marketplace. Yes, the outgoing New Beetle was offered here with TDI power, but its convertible variant never was. We've watched for years as Europe has played host to a whole mess of diesel droptops, but we simply can't remember the last time one was offered here.

That Volkswagen is bringing this triple-specific model to its North American dealers not only says a lot about the confidence it has in its TDI powertrains, it also says something about the company's relentless drive for volume, a fever pitch that seemingly cannot abide any white space left unfulfilled.Continue reading 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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