Like many automakers, Volkswagen is in the process of replacing larger naturally aspirated engines with smaller turbocharged ones. That includes the Beetle, which is switching from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to a 1.8-liter turbo. Yet VW has kept the price the same despite the engine swap.

The 2014 Beetle with the 1.8T and standard six-speed manual starts at $20,295 - the same as the 2014 Beetle with the 2.5-liter engine. Upgrade to the six-speed automatic and the sticker price jumps to $21,395, while the convertible version (which is only sold with the slushbox) starts at $25,170. Of course you'll have to factor in the $820 destination charge for either model.

You get the same 170 horsepower with the new 1.8T as you did with the old 2.5, but peak power now comes in at 700 fewer revolutions per minute. Torque grows marginally by 7 pound-feet, but comes in at 2,750 rpm lower. Best of all, though, is that the turbo version with the automatic gets 25 miles per gallon in the city (versus 22 on the 2.5) and 33 mpg on the highway (vs 29) for a combined EPA rating of 28 mpg (vs 25).

It's worth noting that VW had increased the base price by $300 at the start of the new model year for the base 2.5-liter model in apparent preparation for the new engine's arrival, but that marginal price increase will soon be offset by the savings at the pump. Scope out the full pricing and fuel economy ratings in the press release below.
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VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PRICING OF BEETLE AND BEETLE CONVERTIBLE 1.8T MODELS
Jan 22, 2014

New models gain significant fuel economy improvements over outgoing 2.5-liter Beetle

- Beetle 1.8T priced from $20,295
- Beetle Convertible 1.8T base price is $25,170
- Coupe gains 4 mpg on EPA estimated highway fuel economy over outgoing 2.5 automatic transmission model
- Convertible gains 5 mpg on highway cycle, or 19 percent improvement

Washington, D.C. – Having launched the new EA888 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.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 630 independent U.S. dealers.


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  • 21 Comments
      Brendan
      • 11 Months Ago
      2.5L was a 5 cylinder no? Either way, new engine is an improvement over the archaic 2.5L.
        Jake Leclerc
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Brendan
        Yeah it was a 5 cylinder, lots of people are complaining about this engine but fact is they were known to be pretty reliable. Although Volkswagen engines are usually known to be reliable :P
      Frank
      • 11 Months Ago
      Gentlemen, easy on the writer, it's easy to make a mistake, "4" and "5" being next to each other. The editor has egg on his face. And before too many of you quip about the 1.8 being just a swap, this is not the same as the old 1.8T at all. I owned a 2004 Passat with that engine. It was OK, but nothing special. It drank premium, too. My wife insisted on replacing it with a new Passat (I wanted to get the Mazda6, but I'm not driving it, so whatever)... But after reading about this little engine, I felt we should roll the dice and get it instead of an outgoing 2013 with the 2.5l. I'm really glad I did! This thing DOES sip regular gas. It has a totally different manifold and turbo system and it runs SO MUCH nicer than the old 1.8, I can't even begin to tell you. And we test drove the 2.5, and it was such a dog, it was a non-starter. I toyed with pushing the missus to a diesel, but in the end, the fuel savings will be about $500 annually over our old car. And the turbo doesn't have to spool up and suddenly punch on with a rush and a whistle. It's just there. As in, no matter how slow or fast you're going, it's a very happy little engine, willing to hustle you with turbo power any time. In the new-New Beetle, this will be a terrific little engine. And it even sounds good. I'm not in love with how my wife's Passat handles. Or how it looks. It's SOOOOOOO bloody Camry-like, it makes me glad that I'm NOT driving it every day. However, when I do drive it, I'm pleased with the engine and I know I'm saving $ over the old car, the outgoing model and we're getting 38mpg highway, so it's not that far off of the diesel. I'm pleased with it. Don't scoff, this is one really nicely done engine. No, it's not going to please muscle car guys who think V8s are where it's at. It's not meant to. It's meant to move a family sedan around well without being a gas hog. And it does so very well.
      flc
      • 11 Months Ago
      What the hell is VW doing? Recycling the 1.8T 4 banger from 2000 that they had in there before???
      All Rights Reserved
      • 11 Months Ago
      This makes the Beetle much more attractive. The 2.5 engine needed replacing years ago.
      Dvanos
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's got direct injection so it's clearly not the same 1.8T from 2000.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Months Ago
      33mpg highway? How'd this get cross-posted to autoblog green anyway? this car has 'blah' fuel economy and always has.. You could buy a mazda3 right now which is lighter, faster, and is a few mpg shy of 40mpg, also much better FE in the city.. the beetle is a cool looking car, but it's no gas saver.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Maybe they should have cross-posted an article about the TDI to autoblog green, instead of this?
      mapoftazifosho
      • 11 Months Ago
      Don't care. Give me the Golf GTD...thanks!
      jmoan
      • 11 Months Ago
      The previous Bug had a 1.8 turbo. They are just cycling out engines to keep the line up fresh. The 5 cylinder will be back in a couple of years.
      Nick
      • 11 Months Ago
      you are an ass. the 2.5L was a 5 cyl
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nick
        guess they made an intern write the article again.
      Ducman69
      • 11 Months Ago
      Its a shame that the Beetle has such an ingrained effeminacy (since it released with flower petal wheels and even a damn flower holder), as the newly styled model is quite decent.
        bonehead
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Ducman69
        completely agree. Its a little more old porsche looking now and i find it decent looking. But it has an automotive stigma as a chick car
      Nick
      • 11 Months Ago
      oh also the 2.5L fuel mileage was similar to the 1.8L turbo
      Jake Leclerc
      • 10 Months Ago
      I think the new Beetle is great, looks great for sure. It sorta makes you forget about the (ultimate chick car) stigma, especially when you see the car in person. It's meaty look and wider stance just looks right. Of course some people are gonna be a little disappointed when it comes to fuel economy but it's still not the type of mpg that is gonna suck the life out of your wallet like other sporty coupes out there. And I also think that the new 1.8 Turbo is a great Idea, specially with all that nice low end torque it's got to give. I really think this generation bug shows that there really is a bug for everyone :P
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