Having launched the new 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine in the Jetta and Passat lineup, Volkswagen of America has announced pricing for the Beetle and Beetle Convertible 1.8T models, which are now beginning to arrive in dealerships.
The base price for the Beetle is $20,295 when equipped with a five-speed manual transmission and $21,395 with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Beetle Convertible, which is only available with the six-speed automatic, begins at $25,170. Volkswagen’s standard destination charge for the Beetle and Beetle Convertible is $820.
Designed to be lighter and more fuel-efficient, the new EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder powerplant features a number of refinements, such as a new thinwall cylinder block, a cylinder head with an integrated exhaust manifold, and careful attention to the reduction of friction. The new 1.8-liter TSI engine is built at Volkswagen’s new engine factory in Silao, Mexico, part of the Volkswagen Group’s ongoing $5 billion investment in North America.
The 1.8T engine has a peak output of 170 horsepower at 4800 to 6200 rpm, matching the horsepower rating of the outgoing 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but delivered at 700 fewer revs. The new engine offers seven pound-feet more torque at 184 lb-ft, produced at just 1500 rpm—a whopping 2750 revs less than the outgoing 2.5’s torque figure. The torque curve is strong and flat, with the peak being delivered from 1500 to 4750 rpm. All 1.8T Beetle models now have electric power steering, in place of the hydraulic setup on the 2.5 models.
The new engine also returns better EPA estimated fuel economy figures than the 2.5-liter unit. The Beetle equipped with the 1.8T and a six-speed automatic transmission now gets 33 mpg on the highway, up from 29 mpg for the 2.5-liter engine. At the same time, the city mileage improves from 22 to 25 mpg, and the overall EPA estimated combined fuel economy is now 28 mpg compared with 25 for the outgoing five cylinder.
On the manual transmission model, the EPA city/combined/highway fuel economy ratings have improved from 22/25/31 mpg to 24/27/33 mpg. In the case of the Beetle Convertible, the EPA ratings have gone from 21/23/27 mpg to 24/27/32 mpg—a 19 percent gain in the estimated highway fuel economy.
The implementation of this engine throughout the Beetle lineup furthers Volkswagen’s leadership in turbocharged and direct-injection technology among volume automakers. Volkswagen first used this combination of turbocharging and direct injection in U.S.-market gasoline engines in the 2006 Jetta GLI and GTI models. Since then, Volkswagen’s EA888 four cylinder has set the benchmark for small-displacement turbocharged engines, while the EA288 TDI® has set the standard for diesel engines in the North American market since it first appeared in the 2009 Jetta TDI Clean Diesel.
The vast majority of Volkswagen’s range is now powered by these advanced turbocharged and direct-injection engines, either in diesel or gasoline form. Volkswagen of America predicts that by the end of 2014, close to 90 percent of its vehicles will be sold with these engines.