First was the addition of a launch control feature to the 2013 Jetta GLI. Standard on GLI models with the DSG transmission, it allows for "a perfect launch with controlled wheelspin," according to VW's press release. While we're all about wheelspin, controlled or otherwise, Michel's real news wasn't about the 2013 Jetta, but the promise of an overhaul to the 2014 Jetta powertrain, steering and suspension.
VW will be dropping the 2.5-liter five-cylinder in favor of a 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct injected four, as was rumored. This is the same 1.8 TSI engine with 158 horsepower and 185 pound feet of torque found in the European Passat and CC. For those who are wondering whether it has any relationship to the 1.8T engine found in the VW GTI a few years back, the answer is a definitive "no." The new Jetta base engine will be built at VW's Mexican engine facility in Silao, with the switch to the turbo four made as much for the expected improvement in fuel economy as it was for production efficiency, as the naturally aspirated five-cylinder is not long for this world.
While VW didn't say how much of an improvement in fuel economy it expects from the 2014 Jetta, the new engine will offer potential efficiencies on a number of fronts. Not only is the engine lighter, according to Michel, but it will also herald the adoption of electric power steering. Perhaps more exciting for enthusiasts is that Michel promised that the move to EPAS and changes in the suspension tuning necessitated by the overhaul will allow VW to tune the base car to be a bit sportier than the current model.
Scroll down to read VW's full press release on the 2013 model year changes.
The Beetle Convertible and Jetta Hybrid join the model lineup for 2013, building on Volkswagen's continued sales momentum
- VW now has six models with an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of more than 40 mpg
- Jetta Hybrid will combine best-in-class performance with an estimated combined fuel consumption of 45 mpg; goes on sale in late fall
- Jetta models get interior upgrades; GLI now has a launch control feature
- Manual Beetle TDI coupe and Beetle TDI Convertible achieve EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 41 mpg on the highway
- All-new Beetle Convertible launches late in 2012 in Turbo, 2.5L, and TDI® Clean Diesel forms
- Beetle Fender Edition on sale later in 2012
- CC, which went on sale as a 2013 model in March, adds new R-Line® version at the end of the year
- Eos gets a new Sport trim level and upgrades to the Lux and Executive models
- Touareg TDI engine output raised from 225 to 240 horsepower
The most important introduction for 2013 will be the Jetta Hybrid, Volkswagen's first offering in the compact hybrid category and VW's second-ever hybrid model. This is VW's first turbocharged hybrid and the first hybrid in the world to use a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. Competitively priced with other compact hybrid sedans, the Jetta Hybrid will offer class-leading performance combined with excellent fuel economy.
VW will also add a second convertible to the lineup when the Beetle Convertible goes on sale. The car will be available with 2.5-liter naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter turbocharged, and 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines and will feature a fast-acting top that preserves the sleek lines of the coupe. With an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 41 mpg on the highway for the manual transmission model, this means that VW now has no fewer than six models in the lineup with EPA ratings of more than 40 mpg on the highway. More details about this exciting new addition to the Beetle range will follow nearer to market introduction.
- Beetle Convertible is added to the range.
- Beetle TDI coupe arrives in August.
- Beetle Fender Edition makes its debut in the fall of 2012.
- All Turbo models now have a standard armrest.
- Turbo with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation gains new 19-inch "Tornado" aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights, and LED license-plate lighting.
The Beetle coupe went on sale in 2012 in 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter TSI® forms. In August, the Beetle coupe range will be rounded out with the 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine that will achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 41 mpg on the highway when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
Later in 2012, the Beetle Fender Edition will go on sale, in 2.5L and Turbo forms. As well as featuring the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, this special edition will also have a striking sunburst-style dashboard, Fender logos, special seat stitching, brushed chrome door mirrors, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, and 18-inch "Disc" aluminum-alloy wheels. Additionally, Turbo models will get exclusive seat fabric inserts.
- New front and rear styling enhances an already dramatic design.
- High-luxury, high-quality interior now has seating for five.
- Bi-Xenon headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights are now standard.
- New exterior colors, wheels, and trim available.
- New LED taillights.
- The only four-door coupe in its class.
- R-Line design joins the range at the end of 2012.
The newly refreshed CC went on sale in March. There are two powertrain offerings: a 200-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter TSI, mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels; and a 280-hp VR6® engine driving all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Mated to the manual transmission, the 2.0T achieves EPA estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, while the VR6 4Motion® model gets EPA estimates of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
The popular R-line trim line will return to the range at the end of 2012. With interior and exterior enhancements, this makes the CC an even sportier vehicle. Compared with the Sport model on which it is based, the R-Line gains a more aggressive front bumper design that incorporates a large lower air intake and projector-style foglights with a striking chrome motif. Side skirts and the R-Line logo on the grille further differentiate the R-Line from the Sport model, along unique 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Inside, there are stainless-steel R-Line scuff plates and a multifunction steering wheel that has paddle shifters for the DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
- New Sport trim joins the lineup and gains: 18-inch "Vicenza" aluminum-alloy wheels; a lowered sport suspension; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS); headlight washers; LED license-plate lights; "Black Peak" interior trim; brushed stainless steel pedals; multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters; black exterior side mirrors; and a rear spoiler.
- Lux and Executive models receive Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and AFS, headlight washers, LED license-plate lights, and a new optional leather interior color: Atlantic Blue.
- The Lux also receives a lowered sport suspension and 18-inch "Chicago" aluminum-alloy wheels.
- Executive model also gains a rearview camera.
- New exterior color: Black Pearl.
For 2013, the Golf incorporates minor changes over the 2012 models.
- A front center armrest, in addition to front and rear floor mats, is now standard on all models.
- Golf with Convenience trim features a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake lever.
- Golf with Convenience and Sunroof models now feature a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake lever.
- Four-door 2.5L is no longer available with a five-speed manual transmission.
For 2013, the GTI incorporates minor changes over the 2012 models.
- A new 18-inch "Laguna" aluminum-alloy wheel now distinguishes the Convenience and Sunroof trim and Sunroof and Navigation trim from the rest of the lineup.
For 2013, the Golf R continues in limited quantity with no changes over the 2012 models.
- VW's most popular model receives extensive updates for model year 2013.
- Introduction of all-new Jetta Hybrid in late 2012.
- All Jetta models from S with Sunroof receive an adjustable front center armrest.
- SE trim level and above feature power recline for driver and front passenger seats.
- Launch control now standard on GLI models equipped with the DSG transmission.
Starting with the popular 2.5-liter engine models, standard updates to the SE trim include power-recline driver and front passenger seats, new decorative metallic trim on the dash and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake lever. Exterior enhancements include a chrome radiator grille and chrome window trim.
The SEL trim adds a six-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support, sport-comfort driver and front passenger seats, and a soft-touch dash. A two-tone black-and-beige interior complements the changes for 2013.
A new trim, SEL with Navigation, adds the acclaimed Fender Premium Audio System and the RNS-315 touchscreen navigation system.
Similar to the 2.5-liter gasoline trims, all TDI Clean Diesel models receive interior and exterior enhancements. All models now include power-recline driver and front passenger seats in addition to a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake lever. A new iridium trim enhances the dash and door panels. The exterior now features a chrome radiator grille along with chrome window trim.
The top-of-the-line TDI Premium with Navigation trim includes a six-way power driver seat and a new 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheel.
The performance-driven Jetta GLI model now features Launch Control. All Jetta GLI models equipped with the DSG automatic transmission include a Launch Control program that can be engaged by the driver when the vehicle is at a stop, allowing for a perfect launch with controlled wheelspin. Technology updates to the sporty GLI Autobahn with Navigation trim include a rearview camera and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs.
Volkswagen's first hybrid compact, the Jetta Hybrid, launches in the late fall. It will offer a manufacturer-estimated combined 45 mpg. Further detail on trims and pricing will be announced at launch.
- The S trim now features a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel and multi-function display.
For 2013, the Passat incorporates minor changes over the 2012 models.
- The only German-Engineered sedan available in the mid-size segment, with class-leading rear-seat legroom.
- TDI Clean Diesel model with manual transmission has class-leading range of 795 miles.
- SE trim and above get a new center console that incorporates rear air vents, a new cupholder design, and a revised covered front stowage area.
- All SEL trim models get a rearview camera.
The Passat has been an instant success for Volkswagen, with more than 100,000 being built since it went on sale in September of 2011. The car has also been a hit with media, too, winning Motor Trend's 2012 Car of the Year and multiple comparison tests in top U.S. publications. The popular TDI model also set a long-distance driving record, achieving 1626 miles on one tank of Clean Diesel fuel from Houston, Texas, to Sterling, Virginia, driven by acknowledged mileage experts John and Helen Taylor.
For 2013, the Routan carries over unchanged.
For 2013, the Tiguan incorporates only minor changes over the 2012 models.
- All Tiguan trim lines get an electronic parking brake, hill-hold control, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, and a leather shift knob.
- SE trim receives a partial power passenger seat.
- SEL trim has a power passenger seat and a rearview camera.
For 2013, the Touareg incorporates only minor changes over the 2012 models.
- Touareg TDI Clean Diesel models get a power hike, from 225 horsepower to 240.
- 18-inch "Karakum" wheels are available on VR6 and TDI Sport trims.
- Executive and Hybrid trims get Vavona wood interior trim.
- Hybrid models receive LED taillights and rear license-plate light.