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No Beetle Heir; VW’s 2018 Worldwide Sales Up; 2019 Jetta Fuel Economy Rise

Autocar reports that VW’s R&D boss, Frank Welsch, says the current new Beetle won’t beget yet another new Beetle.  He says it doesn’t make historical sense to create a third new Bug.   In fact, VW might shift its emphasis toward the cheerfully configured T-Roc subcompact crossover as its new dune buggy.  A convertible version of this not-for-the-USA model debuted at the Geneva auto show.

VW Brand worldwide deliveries were up 5.7% during Feb. 2018 (407,100).  European sales increased 11.4%.  VW says new models such as the T-Roc are driving the increase.  China, VW’s biggest market, increased 10.2% (189,100).

When the 2019 Jetta arrives in American showrooms this summer, it will do more with less.  The EPA’s estimated fuel economy is 30 city, 40 highway and 34 mpg combined with the eight-speed automatic and 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.  That’s up two mpg combined compared with the 2018 Jetta. 

VW claims aerodynamic design, which reduced drag coefficient to a class-leading .27, helps.  The 1.4-liter TSI engine has been retuned for mpg.  VW says it uses easier flowing motor oil, a start/stop system (automatic) and a clutch-driven air conditioner.  Low rolling resistance tires also contribute to the vehicle’s fuel-sipping nature.

VW’s press release doesn’t say whether it revamped the engine’s valve timing.  Nonetheless, the fact that the 1.4-liter TSI mill’s horsepower is down slightly suggests VW’s engineers borrowed an intake-valve trick introduced on the 2018 model-year 2.0-liter TSI engine (Passat, Beetle and Tiguan).    

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