2014 Volkswagen Beetle

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(from Volkswagen Press Release) 2014 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE: IMPROVING THE ICON

For the 2014 model year, the Beetle will receive engine and suspension upgrades, as well as an enhanced R-Line® range

  • Limited-edition GSR® model joins Beetle coupe lineup
  • All Beetle models now have independent rear suspension
  • Base 2.5-liter engine replaced by a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter TSI® turbocharged four cylinder partway through model year
  • Beetle Turbo lineup is now renamed R-Line
  • Volkswagen Car-Net™ connectivity becomes available
  • Rearview camera fitted to top-of-the-line Beetle models (late availability)

Herndon, VA, - The third-generation of the internationally beloved Beetle has been a big success for Volkswagen in the U.S., ever since it went on sale in September of 2011. Originally available with 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter TSI® engines, the Beetle added a TDI® Clean Diesel to the range for the 2013 model year.

For 2014, the Beetle range receives a number of enhancements, trim line changes, and a new special edition model, the GSR®. The base Beetle’s 2.5-liter engine will be phased out later in the 2014 model year and replaced by a new, locally sourced, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, designated EA888 Gen 3. This will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and is expected to offer highly competitive fuel economy. Electro-mechanical power steering replaces the 2.5’s hydraulic setup. All Beetle models now have a multilink rear suspension, replacing the torsion beam setup on the base 2.5 and TDI models.

The GSR is a modern re-interpretation of the 1970s GSR (“Yellow Black Racer”). The body and the R-Line bumpers on the new GSR are predominantly yellow, the hood is mainly black, and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are all black. The new car has yellow/black stripes with “GSR” lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The car rides on 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires.

Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The black-trimmed leather seating surfaces and high-grip leather-wrapped steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching. Other interior changes include a GSR shift lever, a leather-wrapped handbrake, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car.

The Beetle Turbo lineup is renamed as the R-Line® for 2014, adding aggressively styled bumpers front and rear as well as R-Line exterior badging and R-Line door sill kickplates. The top R-Line Sunroof and Sound with Navigation also features unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, and leather seating surfaces; black interiors also get an R-Line badge on the steering wheel and a “metallic finish” dash pad. Beetle R-Line and GSR models are fitted with the latest Gen 3 2.0-liter version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which makes 210hp.

Among other changes to the Beetle, the TDI® with Sunroof model is removed from the lineup, while a rearview camera will be available on the Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation trim levels on the Beetle, Beetle TDI Clean Diesel, and Beetle R-Line models.

Lastly, Volkswagen will introduce its VW Car-Net™ connected services this fall on the Beetle lineup. VW Car-Net—which has a six-month no-charge trial period—offers a wealth of security and convenience features, including Automatic Crash Notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. In addition, VW Car-Net adds: remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report; and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Most of the features can be administered through a handy smartphone app. (iPhone only, Android® coming soon.)


The designers wanted to develop the latest Beetle around the profile of the earliest cars rather than the 1998 New Beetle. It’s a car that respects the past but looks toward the future.

Placing the original Beetle and the latest car next to one another, it’s clear that the lines of the rear sections are nearly identical, but the overall look is bolder and more dynamic. The Beetle also breaks free of the design geometry defined by three semi-circles—front fender, rear fender, and domed roof above it. The roof profile actually runs distinctly lower and can be considered a development of the Ragster® concept car shown in Detroit in 2005. As a result, the new Beetle is bolder and more masculine.

“The Beetle is now characterized by a clean, self-confident and dominant sportiness. The car not only has a lower profile; it is also substantially wider, the front hood is longer, the front windshield is shifted further back and has a much steeper incline. All of this creates a new dynamism,” explains Volkswagen Brand Design Chief Klaus Bischoff.

The Beetle is 71.2 inches wide, 58.5 inches tall, and 168.4 inches long. The new focal point is the C-pillar. The development team also increased the car’s track widths and wheelbase compared with the New Beetle. The changed proportions give this latest Beetle a powerful and dynamic appearance.


The Beetle’s styling, ergonomics and quality interact to create an interior with a highly individual nature. The shape and use of color for the painted or carbon-look dashboards harkens back to the design of the first Beetle.

Three round gauges are arranged in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge), providing all key information at a glance. A multifunction display is integrated in the speedometer, which is housed in the central position in the binnacle. The steering wheel is specially designed with optional painted accents in the spokes depending on the equipment line.

Framed by two air vents, the audio/navigation system is optimally located in the driver’s field of vision on the dashboard. Within easy reach, the climate controls are situated just below. Similar to the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated into the dashboard—the kaeferfach or “Beetle bin”. The lid folds upward, while the standard glovebox opens downward. Another classic feature is the auxiliary instrumentation package sited above the audio/navigation system that consists of an oil temperature gauge, a clock with stopwatch function, and a boost pressure gauge. This is standard on R-Line and TDI models.

The Beetle is as luxurious as it is stylish, with standard features such as power windows with one-touch up/down; six-way manual adjustable seats with lumbar; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; aux-in for portable audio players; a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; Bluetooth® connectivity; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable; and three-color ambient lighting.

Available premium features include aluminum-alloy-look pedals; a leather-wrapped shifter knob and brake lever; a panoramic sunroof; leather seating surfaces; Keyless Access with push-button start; the Fender® Premium Audio System; and the RNS® 315 navigation system. A rearview camera will be available later in the model year on the Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation trim levels on the Beetle, Beetle TDI Clean Diesel, and Beetle R-Line models.

Front and rear passenger headroom is plentiful. The car has 37.1 inches of rear-seat headroom, 41.3 inches of front legroom, and 55.3 inches of front shoulder room. The overall interior volume is 85 cubic feet.The trunk offers 15.4 cubic feet of space: with the seats folded, the capacity increases to 29.9 cubic feet. A split-folding rear seat and a wide opening trunk lid ease loading and unloading.

Engines and Transmissions

The 2014 Beetle offers three engines and transmissions: the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic; and the 2.0-liter TDI turbocharged four-cylinder diesel and the 2.0-liter TSI® turbocharged four-cylinder engines with the acclaimed DSG® six-speed dual-clutch automatic or a six-speed manual.

The dual-overhead-cam, 20-valve, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine makes 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. When outfitted with the six-speed automatic transmission, the EPA estimated fuel economy rating is 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

The dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the R-Line makes 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, delivered from just 1700 rpm. With the DSG transmission, the R-Line gets EPA estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway; for the R-Line with six-speed manual, the figures are 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

The Beetle TDI uses the company’s 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection Clean Diesel engine that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The car has EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg city and 41 mpg highway when equipped with the manual transmission and 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway with the DSG.

Clean Diesel Leadership: Volkswagen pioneered the use of turbocharging and direct injection in diesel engines and continues to lead the industry in this technology. This isn’t the first Beetle to be sold in the U.S. market with a diesel engine. From 1998 until 2006, the New Beetle was fitted with a 1.9-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine.

Since then, this engine has been heavily revised to accommodate increasing demand for improvements in exhaust emissions and acoustics. One of the most fundamental improvements was converting the fuel-injection system to a common-rail design, as well as increasing the capacity by 72 cc thanks to a 1.5-mm wider bore.

The current engine features a cast-iron cylinder block and an aluminum-alloy cylinder head. It also utilizes some subtle design elements that contribute to longevity and the reduction of noise, vibration, and harshness. The forged steel crankshaft, for instance, uses just four counterweights, instead of eight, to help reduce bearing load and noise emissions. The pistons incorporate annular channels into which oil is sprayed for cooling the piston-ring zone. A pair of counter-rotating balancer shafts is situated below the crankshaft in the oil pan.

Dual overhead camshafts are driven via a toothed belt that also powers the coolant pump and the high-pressure fuel-injection pump. The cams themselves are linked by means of spur gears that have an integrated backlash adjuster that helps to ensure quiet operation. Each cylinder has two intake and two exhaust valves.

The TDI Clean Diesel engine’s intake manifold uses flap valves that are powered by a step motor that is in turn activated by the Engine Control Module (ECM). At idle and low engine speeds, the flap valves are closed in order to cause high swirl into the combustion chamber, which results in optimal mixture. During regular driving, the flap valves are adjusted continuously according to load and engine speed to help ensure optimum air movement; above 3000 rpm, the valves open fully for maximum filling of the combustion chamber.

The engine’s turbocharger features adjustable guide vanes that maintain the best aspect ratio for low- and high-speed performance. In order to meet current tailpipe emissions standards in all 50 states, the engine makes use of both high- and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation over all engine speeds, as well as an exhaust system that has a particulate filter and no fewer than three catalytic convertors: for oxidation, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and hydrogen sulfide.

Dual-clutch transmission advantages: DSG combines the comfort and ease-of-use of an automatic with the responsiveness and economy of a manual. The six-speed, transversely-mounted DSG unit features two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the “odd” gears—first, third, fifth and reverse—while the other operates the even gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With DSG, the set-up allows the next-higher gear to be engaged but remain on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the Beetle is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.

Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic® function to permit manual gear selection.


All Beetle models are fitted with a strut-type front suspension with a lower control arm and an anti-roll bar: on the Beetle, this is 22 mm in diameter and is increased to 23 mm on the R-Line. For 2014, all Beetle models now feature a multi-link independent rear suspension, with coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an 18-mm-diameter anti-roll bar.

Beetle models have standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake pressure distribution (EBD). The Beetle has 11.3-inch-diameter vented front discs and 10.7-inch-diameter rear disc brakes. The R-Line has larger 12.3-inch-diameter vented front discs, with red calipers.

To help ensure that power is applied properly in challenging conditions, the R-Line model features the XDS® cross differential (limited-slip) system that electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the wheel or wheels with the most traction

Safety and Security

The starting point in the Beetle’s safety armory is a very rigid body structure that uses ultra-high-strength, hot-formed steels in the crash-load paths and seamless laser welds. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard. The Beetle includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.

Scheduled Maintenance

The 2014 Beetle is also covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. Scheduled maintenance is covered for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, all current Volkswagen vehicles use synthetic oil, which, when combined with state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5000-mile oil change, and allows owners to go farther between scheduled oil changes.

Model Line-up

Beetle 2.5L

The Beetle, which has a starting MSRP of $19,995, comes standard with: 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; power windows with one-touch up/down; six-way manual adjustable seats with lumbar; the kaeferfach additional glovebox; heatable front seats; highline trip computer; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; a split folding rear seat; aux-in for portable audio players; a front center console with armrest ; a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; leather shift knob; and the RCD® 310 eight-speaker audio system. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, along with a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod cable and three-color ambient lighting. All Beetle models have a six-month trial to Volkswagen Car-Net™ connected services at no additional charge. A six-speed automatic transmission is an $1100 option.

Beetle 2.5L with Sunroof

Opening at $22,695, this trim takes the Beetle’s standard equipment and adds: a panoramic sunroof with tilt and slide; Keyless access with push-button start; and the Premium VIII audio system with three-month satellite radio subscription.

Beetle 2.5L with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation

In addition to the features on the Beetle with Sunroof, this adds: 18-inch “Disc” aluminum-alloy wheels; the RNS 315 navigation system; a rearview camera (late availability); and the Fender Premium Audio System. The Beetle with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation starts at $24,595.


Starting at $24,195, the base TDI Clean Diesel comes with standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Keyless access with push-button start, leather shift knob, an interior and exterior chrome package, and the performance gauge cluster, in addition to all the equipment listed on the Beetle 2.5L. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual with the option of the DSG dual-clutch automatic.

TDI with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation

The topline TDI Clean Diesel starts at $26,995 and features the RNS 315 navigation system with a five-inch touchscreen display and a panoramic tilt and slide sunroof. The standard Fender Premium Audio System offers concert-quality sound. A rearview camera will be added later in the model year.

Beetle R-Line

Starting at $24,795, the R-Line adds the 210-hp TSI® turbocharged engine; 18-inch aluminum-alloy “Twister” wheels; sport suspension; R-Line front and rear bumpers; front foglights; gloss black exterior mirror housings and door sills; red-painted brake calipers; a rear spoiler; and R-Line badges on the front fenders. Inside, the R-Line adds aluminum-alloy-look pedals, a leather-wrapped brake lever, cloth sport seats, carbon-appearance dash, and R-Line door sill kickplates. The six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission is an $1100 option.

Beetle R-Line with Sunroof and Sound

This package adds the panoramic sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; and the Fender® Premium Audio System with three-month satellite radio subscription. The base MSRP is $27,595.


Beetle 2.5L: Fiat 500, Hyundai Veloster, Mini Cooper
Beetle R-Line: Fiat 500 Abarth, Honda Civic Si Coupe, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Mini Cooper S

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