2015 Volkswagen Beetle: Iconic looks, modern interpretation

Aug 27, 2014

Limited-edition Beetle Classic and new TDI® Clean Diesel engine headline updates for 2015 Model Year

  • Limited-edition Beetle Classic joins lineup
  • New 150-hp 2.0-liter diesel engine, brings higher horsepower and improved fuel economy numbers 

Herndon, VA — After a number of changes in 2014, the Beetle range sees minimal updates for 2015. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine TDI® Clean Diesel engine will be replaced by the new 150-hp EA288 2.0-liter diesel engine, which makes 10 more horsepower than the outgoing model. The Beetle TDI equipped with the optional six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission improves EPA estimated highway fuel economy from 39 to 41 mpg compared with the previous diesel engine.

In addition, a new limited-edition model, the Beetle Classic, enters the Beetle lineup. The Beetle Classic builds on the features offered on the 1.8T base model and sports unique seat fabric, front lumbar supports, RNS® 315 navigation system, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Available wheels on this trim include17-inch “Circle” aluminum-alloy wheels in white or black (depending on exterior color).


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 71.2 inches wide, 58.5 inches tall, and 168.4 inches long. 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.


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.

Standard features on the Beetle include 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.

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 2015 Beetle offers three engines and transmissions: the 1.8-liter TSI® turbocharged and direct-injection four-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 Beetle models feature a EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine that is made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimated fuel economy rating is 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, and 25 mpg city and 33 mpg on the highway with the six-speed automatic.

A version of the EA888 TSI engine, in 2.0-liter form, also powers the R-Line models. This award-winning double-overhead cam, 16-valve, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine produces 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. While it gives the R-Line exhilarating performance, it is also highly efficient. 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 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

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.

All-new diesel engine: The 2015 Beetle TDI Clean Diesel is powered by the EA288 turbodiesel engine, Volkswagen’s all-new diesel engine family. The EA288 engine family is designated the modular diesel matrix, or MDB, and will form the basis for all future U.S.-market Volkswagen diesel products.

The EA288 in the Beetle is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine, a thorough update from the powerplant in the 2014 Beetle TDI. Despite the similarity in basic specifications, the only aspect that carries over from the previous EA189 unit is the cylinder bore spacing. The new engine produces 150 horsepower—10 more than before—at 3,500 rpm, as well as 236 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. This high torque output is another compelling argument for diesel engines, along with their fuel efficiency. The Beetle TDI has an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 31 mpg city and 41 mpg highway when equipped with the manual transmission. This new engine also returns an EPA estimated 41 mpg on the highway when paired with the automatic transmission, an improvement of 2 mpg.

The compact EA288 engine has the intercooler for its turbocharger system integrated directly into the intake manifold, which serves a two-fold purpose of increasing throttle response and performance as well as helping lower emissions. The engine block is cast iron, with a forged steel crankshaft that runs in five main bearings and has four counterweights. In order to counteract engine vibration and maintain smooth operation, the EA288’s crankshaft is connected to two gear-driven counter-rotating balancer shafts that spin at twice engine speed. Friction has been reduced by about 15 percent in the engine, thanks to the use of roller bearings for the drivetrain side camshaft, increased piston-to-wall clearance, and lower piston-ring tension, among other measures.

The aluminum-alloy crossflow cylinder head has a number of unique features. First, the camshafts are integrated into a separate housing by a thermal joining process, ensuring a very rigid camshaft bearing while keeping the weight low. Second, each overhead camshaft operates one intake valve and one exhaust valve per cylinder (as opposed to one camshaft for intake valves only and one for exhaust), allowing for greater air delivery and swirl. The engine features variable cam phasing on the intake and exhaust valves.

Like its gasoline-powered brethren, the EA288 Clean Diesel TDI engine places strong emphasis on thermal management, which is evident in the cylinder head’s two-section coolant jacket, as well as a three-part cooling circuit and switchable coolant pump. Compared to the previous engine, emissions are reduced by up to 40 percent, helped by siting the exhaust after-treatment module close to the engine and by the use of a low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system.

Dual-clutch transmission advantages: The DSG dual-clutch transmission 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. All Beetle models 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


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 2015 Beetle is also covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. Scheduled maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 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 5,000-mile oil change, and allows owners to go farther between scheduled oil changes.


Model Line-up

Beetle 1.8T

The Beetle, which has a starting MSRP of $20,470, 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; VW Car-Net® connected services; 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. A six-speed automatic transmission is an $1100 option. The limited-edition Beetle Classic is priced at $20,195, and features a number of additional special features: a six-speed automatic transmission; 17-inch “Circle” alloy wheels; unique seat fabric; comfort front seats with driver’s side lumbar support; and the RNS 315 navigation system.

Beetle 1.8T with Sunroof

Starting at $23,085, 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 1.8T 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; and the Fender Premium Audio System. The Beetle with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation starts at $25,095.


Starting at $24,795, 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 1.8T. 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 $27,710 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.

Beetle R-Line

Starting at $25,195, 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 $28,115.

Beetle R-Line with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation

The topline Beetle starts at $30,525 and adds leather seating surfaces, and partial leather for the door trims and dashboard; the RNS 315 navigation system; 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs; and black interiors also get an R-Line badge on the steering wheel and a “metallic finish” dash pad.


Beetle 1.8T: Fiat 500, Scion tC, Mini Cooper

Beetle R-Line: Fiat 500 Abarth, Mini Cooper S


About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 644 independent U.S. dealers.


This press release and images of the 2015 Beetle Convertible are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews

“DSG”, “R-Line”, “RCD”, “RNS”, “TDI”, “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, “XDS”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Car-Net” and “Carefree Maintenance” are registered trademarks of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Android” is a trademark of Google Inc. “Bluetooth” is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. “Fender” is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “iPod” is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Available EPA fuel economy estimates are provided and identified as such. All other fuel economy values are forecast manufacturer estimates for the USA; EPA estimates for those models were not available at time of release. Individual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

All prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude transportation, taxes, title, options, and dealer charges.

VW Car-Net services provided by Verizon Telematics, Inc. Available only on select models. See applicable Terms of Service and Privacy Policy available at www.vw.com/carnet  for details. Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted. 

The Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) will only activate in a collision where the airbags deploy or safety belt pretensioners activate. Not all collisions cause airbags to deploy or safety belt pretensioners to activate.