Not only will Volkswagen be rolling out an all-new and highly versatile vehicle architecture - the MQB platform - this year, but the German auto giant will also be introducing its newest four-cylinder diesel engine family.
Named EA288 in Volkswagen parlance, the new turbodiesel engine will be built in sizes ranging from 1.6 litres to two litres, and will be deployed across a wide range of Volkswagen Group vehicles using the MQB transverse and the MLB longitudinal platforms.
The first of these new models is the recently-unveiled 2013 Audi A3, which uses a 2.0 litre version of the EA288 engine. In A3 trim, it produces 110kW and 320Nm - a 7kW increase over the EA827 turbodiesel it replaces.
In the A3, the new diesel four consumes just 4.1 l/100km on the combined cycle.
Refinement has been given a boost too, with twin balancer shafts now located in the crankcase to help quell engine vibrations. Volkswagen also says reliability will be greatly improved, with the engine's timing belt able to last the entire lifespan of the vehicle.
Like the existing EA827 family of turbodiesel fours, the new EA288 engine will eventually form the basis for wide range of powerplants and will gradually overtake the EA827 as the Volkswagen Group's mainstay diesel engine.
The 2013 Mk7 Volkswagen Golf will likely be next in line for the new diesel.