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Volkswagen of America bringing in downsized 1.8L EA888 engine to displace 2.5L; all vehicles E15 capable

Technologies in the EA888 engine line. Click to enlarge.

Among the important product changes for Volkswagen of America for the 2014 model year is the introduction of the EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI engine, which will gradually replace the 2.5-liter five-cylinder naturally aspirated powerplant fitted to the Jetta, Beetle, and Passat models. As an additional change across the entire lineup, all Volkswagen models are E15 capable, across all powertrains, for 2014.

The EA888 is one of the Volkswagen Group’s three major engine lines: EA 211 (gasoline engines 1.0l to 1.6l); EA 888 (Gen3 gasoline engines 1.8l to 2.0l); and EA 288 (MDB diesel engines). The new 1.8L engine produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (249 N·m) of torque: this is the same power as the 2.5L engine, but the torque is improved by 7 lb-ft, delivered much lower in the rev range.

The implementation of the new EA888 gasoline unit will help ensure that more than 90% of the cars sold by Volkswagen in the US have these efficient powerplants. The engine is built in a new factory in Silao, Mexico that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5-billion investment in the North American market.

The new TSI engine will be fitted to the Jetta range and the Passat SEL initially, to be followed by the rest of the Passat lineup and the Beetle later in the model year. Volkswagen expects the new engine to offer significant highway fuel mileage gains over the 2.5-liter unit.

  • The Beetle and Beetle Convertible 2.5-liter engine will be replaced by the 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder during the 2014 model year. Electro-mechanical power steering replaces the 2.5’s hydraulic setup. Volkswagen predicts fuel highway fuel economy will improve by up to 17% with the downsized engine.

    With this introduction, the Beetle Turbo lineup now becomes the Beetle R-Line.

  • New 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine replaces 2.5-liter five cylinder in the Jetta; electro-mechanical power steering replaces a hydraulic setup. Jetta 1.8T, 2.0, and TDI models receive rear multilink suspensions.

    Similar to the 1.8-liter gasoline trims, all TDI Clean Diesel models will offer VW Car-Net (below), a relocated MDI cable (now in the center console), and new independent rear suspension. TDI Premium and Premium and Navigation trims also get a rearview camera. The performance-driven Jetta GLI model now has the relocated MDI cable and the option of VW Car-Net, as well as the latest 210-hp version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

    Volkswagen’s first hybrid compact, the Jetta Hybrid, was launched late last year. For 2014, updates are minimal and include the availability of VW Car-Net and the addition of a new high-resolution color MFI display in the instrument cluster. For 2014, the Jetta SportWagen incorporates only minor changes over the 2013 models.

  • Passat also will swap out the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine for the 1.8L turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine, along with the change from hydraulic to electro-mechanical power steering.

Other changes. The Beetle range has a number of new additions for 2014. The most significant is the introduction of the retro-themed GSR (German for “Yellow Black Racer”) that will be sold as a limited-edition model. Because the base Beetle now has a turbocharged engine, the previous Turbo models have been re-branded with the R-Line moniker.

The R-Line range itself has been extended to five vehicles. The Beetle Convertible R-Line, Touareg R-Line, and Tiguan R-Line all go on sale this fall, joining the existing Beetle Coupe R-Line and the CC R-Line.

Car-Net. Volkswagen will introduce its VW Car-Net connected services this fall as part of the 2014 model lineup. Available on Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat, and Tiguan models, VW Car-Net offers a wealth of security and convenience features, including crash notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance.

In addition, VW Car-Net adds: remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report; and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Most of the features can be administered through a handy smartphone app.



All those billions in R&D are paying off...

Account Deleted

Good that they are getting rid of 5 cylinder as 4 cylinder is almost the industry wide standard.

After this, the next step will be to offer Hybrids, Plugins, CNG, LPG, FFV and so on.


E15 is a half-measure.  It would be better if the car could take straight petroleum gasoline, 180-proof wet ethanol, or anything in between.

Walt D

Yes - at least E85 Compatibility would be great - especially if they want to sell in the USA. Second thing they need to do is get rid of timing belts, or at least design it so that changing one is less than a 2 hour job, making the whole change out less than $250. No one likes to get hit with a $2000 "routine maintenance" bill at the 80K mile point. Many in the USA ignore maintenance and I'd bet the engine is an "interference" engine - meaning a timing belt failure means big $$$$ to fix.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? I was a fan of their old 1.8 turbo engine... smooth, flexible, and potent. But not exactly economical in the consumption department... hopefully the TSI magic fixes that issue.

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