Detailed: VW’s New 2.0-Liter EA288 Four-Cylinder TDI Diesel

Volkswagen TDI diesel EA288

Joining Volkswagen’s new line of gasoline four-cylinder engines—dubbed EA211 and detailed and driven here—in powering forthcoming MLB- and MQB-platform cars is a new series of diesels. VW is calling this new diesel four-cylinder engine range “EA288,” and displacement varies from 1.6 to 2.0 liters. We’ll only get the 2.0-liter here in the U.S., so we’ll concentrate on that.

The EA288 diesel will be the TDI powerplant in the next-generation Golf, Jetta, and Passat. The inline configuration, iron block and aluminum head, and DOHC configuration will carry over, but horsepower from the 2.0-liter surges to from 140 to 190, while torque is up from 236 lb-ft to 280 lb-ft. Those two figures represent increases of 36 and 19 percent, respectively. Also, as with the EA211 gas engines, a belt that never requires replacement drives the camshafts.

Volkswagen TDI diesel EA288

You may recall that our long-term 2009 Jetta TDI had difficulty heating the cabin during the winter months. This is a concern with all diesels, and a primary reason why you see heat-trapping radiator covers on semi-trucks and school buses in the winter. The Canadian market was lucky enough to get an electric secondary cabin heater that kicked in when maximum heat was requested.

To remedy such heating concerns with the EA288, engineers integrated the exhaust manifold into the engine head, as they did with the EA211 gas engine. The EA288 head has its own cooling circuit controlled with valves. When the engine is cold, the head circuit is the most active, which allows the engine coolant to heat up swiftly, making it possible to warm the cabin faster. This also helps the engine get up to operating temperature more quickly, thus improving fuel efficiency.

Currently, VW diesels use a NOx storage catalytic converter in the exhaust to meet emissions requirements. To further clean up the new 2.0-liter EA288’s act—and comply with the stringent EU6 regulations—VW has employed a urea NOx reduction device, otherwise known as a selective catalytic reduction system. The combination of the urea system, two exhaust-gas recirculation devices, a particulate filter, and an oxidation catalytic converter results, says VW, in a 45-percent reduction in total emissions versus the old engine.

A pair of counter-rotating balance shafts help smooth out the power delivery and lower NVH; this feature is absent from smaller-displacement versions.

Our first opportunity to confirm the extra twist, power, smoothness, and efficiency will come when we drive the new MkVII Golf, which debuts this summer in Europe.

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