The Taos Will Use Slightly Bigger, More Powerful Version of Jetta Engine

Volkswagen has revealed that the Taos will make 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque thanks to a slightly larger version of the EA211 engine that you may recognize from its use in the Jetta.

The engine has been enlarged for duty in the small crossover, displacing 1.5 liters instead of the Jetta’s 1.4. Volkswagen promises, though, that despite making more power (the Jetta makes 147 hp) the bigger engine will also be more fuel-efficient.

Using a modified version of the Miller cycle, the engine closes its valves earlier in the induction stroke to help it sip fuel. And with an 11.5:1 compression ration, its compression ratio is very high for turbocharged engines.

Those turbochargers will use variable turbine geometry to allow the turbo to work harder or less hard depending on load. That’s technology that not long ago would have been reserved for supercars and which remains almost unheard of on volume production cars.

It isn’t all high tech gizmos, though. Volkswagen has also done simple stuff, like plasma coating the cylinders to reduce friction, used the ECU to warm the engine up faster and get it into its efficient range quicker, and increased the pressure for the fuel injectors to improve the air/fuel mixture.

“The new 1.5-liter engine in the Taos uses the latest advances in gasoline-engine design to bring outstanding fuel economy to the compact SUV segment,” said Johan de Nysschen, COO for the North American wing of VW. “The Taos will provide a further proof point for the ability of the Volkswagen North American Region to deliver the right products for our market requirements.”

Volkswagen has also officially confirmed that the Taos will come with AWD. While that’s not exactly surprising, it will give it an advantage over compact crossovers like the Nissan Kicks, which only comes in FWD.

All-wheel-drive models will get VW’s familiar 7-speed DSG gearbox, while the base version will be mated to VW’s 8-speed automatic. At 174.2-inches long, it will also be 11 inches shorter than the Tiguan and about 3 inches longer than the Honda HR-V. 

The full reveal will take place on October 13.