- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2001

The New Beetle turned a steadily improving auto brand into an exciting and vibrant adventure for Volkswagen here in the United States.
Reviving the Beetle infused VW with an enthusiasm other companies only wish they could buy. Even if it were to cost millions, a company would spend it to reap this kind of excitement. For VW it was only natural. We all know about the buzz created by the phenomenon when the New Beetle was first introduced. Employees, dealers and the buying public came out of the woodwork just for the chance to experiencing this cute little remake of the classic automobile.
It is a different kind of enthusiasm than that which surrounded the Bug of the 1960s. Though that craziness seemed nearly cultish, and the vehicle demanded so much from its owner, the phenomenon of today is more civilized. The New Beetle requires no sacrifice in the way of comfort and now it has so much more power. It almost seemed unusual for people not to be crying out for more power in a Beetle. At one time it was part of the culture. Today the standard model of the New Beetle is powered by an adequate four-cylinder engine, but the enthusiasts wanted more. The aftermarket parts business is overflowing with add-on parts that give the Beetle better performance. But, now all of that is unnecessary, for Volkswagen has solved the problem by adding the Turbo S model.
The Turbo S New Beetle has the performance of a sports car wrapped in a unique package. It is a vehicle that makes a strong statement about your zest for life and adventure. This car is so well balanced your memory of the old Bug will quickly vanish and the vision of an incredibly fun machine will fill your mind. In fact, this car is so well executed, complaints are sure to be few and far between.
The Turbo S has more power and more capabilities rolled into the same fun little car that if it were not for the few exterior changes, this car would be the sleeper, street racer of the year. The subtle design cues are quickly evident once they are pointed out to you. The Turbo S differs only slightly from other New Beetles on the outside, but underneath it is a different situation.
Under the hood there resides an all new 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces an adrenaline-pumping 180 horsepower, which is nothing to snicker about. But what really tells the full story is the flat torque curve this engine has.
The ability to deliver its 173 foot-pounds of torque across a wide rpm range gives this VW responsive acceleration virtually unknown in this class of vehicle.
When an engine is able to deliver full torque level from 1,950 rpm through the 5,000 rpm range, it results in the ability to jump at the driver's beck and call. From just out of idle range to its peak, this VW will certainly satisfy the most demanding driver. Making sure that when you get noticed on the road you will be identified as a higher-than-average Beetle owner, VW has given the Turbo S distinctive styling cues.
Though subtle, the rear end gets a sports-carlike rear bumper. To aid in its stable attitude an automatic power spoiler deploys from its spot above the rear window.
In front, the vehicle receives integrated fog lamps, mounted in the mesh intake grille. New turn signal lights are mounted next to the trademark round headlights and a new front air dam sets below the bumper. A Turbo S script badge mounted on the rear hatch removes all doubt in people's minds that you are driving a very special Beetle.
The New Beetle Turbo S injects a degree of fun in driving that heretofore has not been achieved without the help of aftermarket parts companies and a good bit of work from the owner. It is rewarding to know that VW knows their owners want a no-hassle way to get excellent performance from the New Beetle and gives them the ability to get that performance right off the showroom floor.

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