HERNDON, VA - Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced that retail pricing for its 21st Century Beetle, the third-generation of the Beetle, will start at $18,995. The most-equipped model will feature an MSRP of $23,395.

The 2.5L model, which has a starting MSRP of $18,995, has a 170-hp inline five-cylinder engine and offers fuel economy improved up to 10 percent over past 2.5L models. When outfitted with the five-speed manual transmission, the company estimates mileage at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The optional six-speed automatic offers EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Volkswagen said that in 2012, a TDI Clean Diesel model will become available, powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine capable of producing 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. The company said the expected highway fuel economy estimate is 40 mpg.

The 2012 Beetle is 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and 0.5 inches lower. The Beetle will be available in three trim lines. The Beetle includes Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some types of collisions.

You can read our previous coverage of the 21st Century Beetle here.