2012 Volkswagen Beetle

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.