Das Blog. : Show-off: Volkswagen highlights new EA888 TSI engines at SEMA

Nov 6, 2013


Tuners and customizers have been major shapers and stakeholders in the Volkswagen brand for many years. And at this week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, VW is returning the favor by showcasing its all-new EA888 TSI engines at the exhibit and working with prominent customization shops to highlight the engines’ potential.

At SEMA, Volkswagen is focusing on the all-new 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder EA888 TSI powertrains that are just coming on stream, delivering improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency to new models such as the new 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta and 2014 Volkswagen Passat, and the seventh-generation 2015 Volkswagen Golf that will be available next year.

“This is our opportunity to show off the performance advantages of the new engines, whereas until this point we’ve mainly been talking about fuel-efficiency improvements,” Darryll Harrison, manager of brand public relations for Volkswagen of America, told Das Blog. “SEMA is the ideal venue, where people will really appreciate what these new engines do for our vehicles.”

The biggest draws for VW at SEMA likely will be customized “ultimate-performance” vehicles that two major tuner shops developed using Volkswagen models and the new engines.

FMS Automotive transformed one Jetta into a 400-horsepower “Racer’s Dream in Black and White,” doubling the starting horsepower of the new 2.0-liter EA888 engine, bulking up innards such as the braking system to match the extra juice under the hood, and remaking the outside with design enhancements such as widening all four fenders by about two inches, among many other customization touches.

Also, FMS equipped another Jetta with the new 1.8-liter EA888 engine and built a tribute to the 1989 Helios Special Edition Jetta GLI, complete with its blue-and-black paint scheme and authentic rear spoiler and side mirrors.

The other shop, H&R, picked the all-new Volkswagen Golf to highlight some of its latest suspension innovations and other capabilities at SEMA. They included installation of a Street Performance Tuner Coil Over suspension which set a lower ride height for the car, as well as enhancements such as an upgraded brake system.

VW Accessories also got in on the Golf tuning with a body-styling kit, center-exit rear valance, dual exhaust muffler and race-inspired hatch top spoiler.

“Being able to showcase cars enhanced by shops that have a lot of credibility with the tuner community is important for Volkswagen, and my hunch is that being able to align themselves with a brand like us is good for the tuners too,” Harrison said. “It’s a win-win because we’re showing enthusiasts that we’re serious about them and that we’re open to working with credible tuners who are developing parts for our products.”

What’s more, as the show cars end up also involving several parts provided by Volkswagen’s accessories division, they reflect well on the VW brand.

“We find the right balance between working with the tuners to help them develop their catalogs of parts, and affirming and promoting our own accessories,” Harrison explained.


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