Volkswagen’s penchant for oddly cylindered engines seems to have run its course, as the company is ditching its naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I5 powerplant—long a mainstay of the lineup—for a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder turbo in the 2014 VW Beetle and other entries. The new motivator also features Volkswagen’s TSI direct-injection technology, and that plus forced induction does, indeed, deliver a replacement for displacement.
Thus, as the new standard powerplant for the 2014 VW Beetle (and Beetle Convertible), the engine provides 170 hp (unchanged from the I5) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque (up 7 lb.-ft.), along with what the company claims will be “highly competitive fuel economy.” Specific EPA ratings are not yet available for the 2014 VW Beetle with its new engine, but the 2014 VW Jetta, which sees the same engine swap, raises its ratings by more than 4 percent/16 percent/11 percent with its automatic transmission and 13 percent/8 percent/15 percent with its manual.
The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle also moves from a hydraulic power-steering system to an electromechanical one, which also will help with its fuel-economy ratings, and the automaker will deploy its VW Car-Net telematics platform to the Bug as well, allowing drivers to benefit from automatic crash notification, quick access to roadside assistance, stolen-vehicle location service, boundary and speed alerts and improved point-of-interest (POI) functionality in Beetles with navigation. Also new for the 2014 VW Beetle: An available rearview camera system that will have late availability in the more premium members of the lineup.
Beyond these significant content changes, the 2014 VW Beetle has its roster reshuffled to showcase two new players.