Just as Volkswagen Beetle and Bettle Convertible models equipped with VW’s new 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine begin to arrive in dealerships across the U.S., the automaker has announced pricing info for the models. The base price for the Beetle (coupe) is $29,295 with a five-speed manual transmission, and $21,395 for a six-speed automatic. The Beetle Convertible, meanwhile, is only available with the six-speed auto and has a starting price of $25,170. VW charges $820 to deliver both variants of the model.
To note, the new 1.8-liter EA888 engine is turbo-charged and direct-injected, producing a peak output of 170 horsepower at 4,800 RPM to 6,200 RPM. In that regard, the new boosted four-banger matches the horsepower rating of the outgoing 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, while delivering it 700 revs lower. Additionally, the new motor generates 184 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 RPM, that’s seven pound-feet more and 2,750 revs less than the torque generated by the outgoing five-cyl. The torque curve is strong and flat, with the peak being delivered from 1,500 to 4,750 rpm. As with other VW models that replace the 2.5 with the 1.8T, all Beetle models now gain electric power steering in place of the hydraulic setup on the 2.5 models.
But the good news doesn’t end there, as the new engine also returns better EPA-estimated fuel economy than the 2.5-liter unit. Equipped with the 1.8T and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Beetle Coupe now gets 33 MPG on the highway, up from 29 MPG rating of the 2.5-liter engine. Meanwhile, 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. Models equipped with the manual transmission have improved from an EPA-estimated 22/25/31 MPG (city/combined/highway) to 24/27/33. The ratings for the Beetle Convertible grow from 21/23/27 MPG (city/combined/highway) to 24/27/32, representing a 19 percent gain in the estimated highway fuel economy.
The launch of the new 1.8-liter EA888 engine (which replaces the archaic five-cylinder 2.5-liter unit) in the Beetle follows that of the Jetta and Passat. The Gen 3 four-banger was engineered to be lighter and more fuel-efficient, with a number of refinements such as a new thinwall cylinder block, a cylinder head with an integrated exhaust manifold, and careful tuning to reduce friction. The engine is built at Volkswagen’s new engine factory in Silao, Mexico, and is part of the Volkswagen Group’s ongoing $5 billion investment in North America.