There will be a flurry of new VW’s hitting the showrooms soon with Beetles, Passats and Jettas all due to arrive in the autumn. They will all have the new 1.8 litre four cylinder engine which is capable of 170 horsepower and 184 lb/ft torque. This is a small improvement on the 177 lb/ft that the 2.5 litre option produced on the current models of the five replacement cars. It is likely that the fuel economy will be much improved as well. It is worth noting that this 1.8T engine is nothing like the old 1.8 engine that was used in VWs a decade ago, it is very much a new engine – a downsized version of the EA888 2.0T from the GTI. The Jetta will have a new engine and the Passats and Beetles will not, but they will slowly switch over from the 2.5 that they have now to the new 1.8 during 2014.
The Jettas will also all get a multilink rear suspension. This will be an improvement on the original model which has a solid rear axle. Many also had rear drum brakes rather than discs and the interiors were very bland and looked cheap. However, improvements were made to these things over the last few years.
The 2014 Jettas will all have independent rear suspension. With regards to engine, the 2.0 litre four cylinder will be used for the base models and they have 115bhp. However, it is the Jetta SE and SEL that are more commonly purchased and these come with a 1.8T. The SE has either a six speed automatic transmission or a five speed stick. The SEL only has the automatic option. The Jettas that have the 1.8T and TDI engines also get electromechanical power steering and so will only be the 2.0 that have a hydraulic setup.
The fuel economy numbers have not been officially released but it is expected that the Jetta will manage 26mpg in a city and 36mpg on the highway. They will not compete with the other cars in their market sector that advertise being able to do 40mpg on the highway though.
The R-Line Beetle is finally available in dealerships in America. The Toureg R and Tiguan are models that are sportier in their suspension, have larger wheels and modest body kits but are well equipped otherwise. The Beetle R-Line will be replacing the beetle Turbo and will have a 2.0 litre engine which is turbocharged and a sharper looking face.
The Passat will also see some changes which will include a new trim. VW has announced that it will be a sports trim but have given no further detail apart from the fact that it will be available by the end of the year. In January they showed a 250hp Passat Performance in Detroit and it was expected that there might be the addition of a Sport badge to any of the Passats with the turbocharged four cylinder engine. It is hoped that the Sport name may mean that there will be more power from the engine, but it could just mean that it will have a more sporty and aggressive look to it.
Passats will also have some differences in equipment. They will have leather on the steering wheel, parking brake handle and shift knob in the Wolfsburg Edition cars. There will also be a rear view camera, touch screen infotainment centre and push button start in the lower trim level vehicles.
It has been found that the 1.8T will be able to do 24mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. This is a lot better than the five cylinder Passat and compares fairly favourably with the other vehicles in the market; the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord.
There is also news that the 2012 Golf and GTI will have a limited number of five door models available before the seventh generation model will be released next spring.