Sources revealed that the naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine will be dropped from Volkswagen’s U.S. lineup. It will be replaced by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four engine. This is a 1.8-liter version of the 2.0-liter turbo four that VW uses in the GTI, GLI, and Tiguan. Notably, its engine family is EA888. The majority of the 1.8′s applications in Europe deliver 158 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.
These figures aren’t expected to be a lot different when the engine arrives in the U.S. under the hood of the Passat, Jetta, Golf, and Beetle. It should also be mentioned that this new 1.8-liter turbo four is not related to the old “1.8T” engine that VW and Audi had offered in the 1990s and 2000s across their lines.
VW’s decision was made partly due to the need to improve fuel economy. The EPA rates a manual-transmission Jetta with the 2.5-liter five at 23 mpg city/33 highway. In comparison, the Jetta GLI is rated at 22/33 mpg. It’s basically the same car, except for the rear suspension, but it is powered by the 2.0-liter turbo four.
The use of a smaller, weaker version of that 2.0-liter engine should boost the regular Jetta’s EPA figures enough to make it attractive to consumers that are exposed to ads for the 40-mpg Chevy Cruzes, Ford Focuses, and Hyundai Elantras.
Many will probably be convinced to switch to the 1.8 turbo because of VW’s aim to simplify the manufacturing and service processes for its engines. Being closely linked to the 2.0-liter, it can be produced in the same factories, shipped using the same containers, installed using the same tooling, and maintained with the same equipment.
The 2.5-liter inline-five entered the U.S. in the prior Jetta, which became available in 2005. Originally, it produced 150 hp. As this figure was surpassed by plenty of inline-fours from other automakers, it was later upgraded to 170 hp. [source: MSN]