Volkswagen and diesel lovers have something to look forward to this year: Europe’s biggest carmaker recently announced that it will be debuting its new TDI diesels in the second half of 2014. The timing for the new TDI diesel engine was confirmed by Douglas Skorupski, the technical strategy manager of Volkswagen Group of America, at the Automotive World Megatrends USA conference in Dearborn, Michigan.
VW will be releasing the new EA288, a revamped version of its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, for the TDI iterations of the model year 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Beetle Convertible. All the aforementioned cars will be rolling out into showrooms later this year. The new diesel powertrain will be first available in the Golf, with all other 2015 models to follow.
The automaker will eventually bring the EA288 to all VW and Audi models with 2.0-liter TDI diesel power. According to reports, the TDI version of the 2015 Audi A3 will roll out in the United States this fall.
The new engine keeps the previous one’s designation as well as bore spacing, but everything else is made different. This EA288 proves to be more powerful and more fuel-efficient compared to its predecessor. In a statement, Skorupski said that the engine makes 236 feet-pounds of torque and 150 horsepower, an increase of 10-hp over the previous engine. To lower emissions, the latest EA288 was made with a more complex exhaust gas recirculation system as well as an exhaust-gas after-treatment system situated closer to the engine.
Moreover, the redesigned EA288 comes with an intercooler that is integrated with the intake manifold, resulting in better throttle response.
There were also improvements made inside the engine to reduce friction and enhance fuel economy. There are the low-friction camshaft and balancer shaft bearings along with new piston rings with reduced pre-tension. Then there is the two-stage oil pump with volumetric flow regulation.
It has been a long time since VW first introduced diesel engines in the U.S. and the automaker has since enjoyed impressive diesel sales in the country. VW debuted diesel power in 1977 with the Rabbit. At that time, the engine had a 1471-cc displacement and made 48-hp and 58 lb-ft of torque.
VW’s diesel engines have gone a long way since that time, and so are the carmaker’s sales. VW is the current diesel sales leader in the country, with its Volkswagen and Audi brands selling 105,899 TDI models in 2013. Last year marks the first time the VW group surpassed 100,000 sales in a single year. The total number of diesels sold by VW made up 75 percent of all passenger car and SUV diesel sales in the country and 24 percent of overall sales.
One of the nameplates to get the newest EA288 recently made headlines due to a recall. VW issued a recall of over 150,000 Passat midsize sedans from model years 2012 and 2013 because of a headlight problem.
According to the automaker, if the hoods of the affected vehicles were dropped or closed roughly, the impact or vibrations could cause the low-beam headlight bulbs to shift within its fittings and lose electrical contact. When this happens, the driver will be alerted by a warning light on the dashboard. Dimmer lights could cause lower visibility, which may increase the risk of a collision.