Volkswagen thinks small again with new EA211 1.4-liter TSI engine

Volkswagen EA211 1.4-liter TSI engine

The new turbocharged 1.4-liter Volkswagen EA211 engine is tuned for low rpm torque.

A print ad from the 1960’s for the VW Beetle famously said “Think small.” Now with a new 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct injection engine, dubbed EA211 Volkswagen is reprising that theme, and for much the same reason: fuel economy.

The new engine will first see duty in the Volkswagen Jetta as a replacement for the 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine that was standard in the Jetta S and the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine in the Jetta SE.

The new engine saves mass with a light-weight aluminum engine block—the 2.0-liter and 1.8TSI engines have cast iron blocks—and a cylinder head with the integrated exhaust manifolding for further weight saving. The dual overhead cams are variable intake and exhaust.

Volkswagen notes that the only thing carried over from the EA111 engine is the 82 mm cylinder spacing. The cylinder bores are reduced by two centimeters while the stroke is lengthened, giving the engine a decidedly undersquare configuration, with a 74.5 mm bore and an 80 mm stroke. The narrower bore allows the engine to be more compact, but more importantly increases the torque effect and enhances the effect of boost, whether from turbocharging or supercharging.

The new Volkswagen 1.4-liter TSI engine has a relatively high-for-a-turbo compression ratio of 10.0:1, which is made possible by direct injection. The intake manifold developed by Volkswagen allows the use of a small single-scroll turbocharger, lighter and less complex that a dual-scroll turbocharger with two inlets. The intercooler is integrated into the injection-molded intake pipe.

Volkswagen says the output of the 1.4-liter EA211 engine is 150 horsepower at 5000 rpm, and torque hits its 184 lb-ft maximum at an almost-just-above-idle 1400 rpm, which should provide useful acceleration around town without having to resort to noisy and inefficient revving of the engine.

With the available five-speed automatic transmission in the Jetta, Volkswagen predicts highway fuel consumption at 39 mpg, and improvement of 13 percent of the 2.0-liter engine and seven percent over the 1.8T. The 1.4-liter TSI engine will come standard with a five-speed manual transmission.

Expect the new EA211 engine to see increased use in the Volkswagen lineup in Jetta-sized models including the Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Beetle. They all should be thinking small soon.