- New EA888 Gen 3 engine, produced in Silao, Mexico, makes its U.S. debut
- Engine offers 10 hp increase over previous Gen 2 powerplant
- Beetle R-Line® coupe will be priced from $30,135 with the six-speed manual transmission
The Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Turbo Convertible, and the Jetta GLI receive a number of running changes to 2013 model year cars that go on sale this month. The most notable of these is fitment of a new version of the award-winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® engine. This is being produced in a new factory in Silao, Mexico, that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5 billion investment in the North American market.
The new engine makes 210 horsepower, an increase of 10 hp over the previous Gen 2 TSI engine. Peak power is generated 200 revs higher in the engine range, at 5300 rpm, and torque remains unchanged at 207 pound-feet. Thus equipped, the Beetle Turbo coupe takes 6.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, 0.2 seconds less than the previous version: At 6.7 seconds, the Jetta GLI is a tenth faster with the manual transmission and two tenths quicker with the DSG® dual-clutch automatic than the cars equipped with the Gen 2 engine.
As well as providing more performance, the new engine also gives a manufacturer-estimated improvement in fuel efficiency for the Beetle models of between four and eight percent on the combined cycle and by up to nine percent on the city cycle.
The EA888 Gen 3 engine is designed to be lighter and more fuel efficient than the unit it replaces. Engine weight has been reduced by eight pounds, to 290 pounds overall. Among the improvements on this engine are: a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers that are integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearings for the twin balancer shafts; and a crankshaft that has four counterweights instead of eight.
As well as getting the new engine, the Beetle Turbo and Beetle Turbo Convertible both receive new R-Line bumpers; these feature grained black surfaces and chrome-framed turn signals at the front and a diffuser at the rear. The Jetta GLI is also upgraded with LED taillights on all three trims.
The Beetle Turbo R-Line model, which is also fitted with the new 210-hp engine, appears in dealerships at the same time, replacing the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation. Externally, the R-Line model is differentiated by the more aggressive front and rear bumpers, 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels, R-Line badging, and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs.
Inside, the R-Line model features custom stainless-steel kickplates, a steering wheel badge, and a unique “chrome vanadium” dashboard panel. The base price for the Beetle Turbo R-Line will be $30,135 when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.