Volkswagen breathes new life into an iconic name and identity. A modernization of a compact vehicle that launched Volkswagen as an auto company, the 1998 New Beetle arrives to attract a new driving public with its trendy physique. The 1998 Volkswagen New Beetle features power of a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a 1.9-liter TDI diesel powerplant. An all-new Volkswagen Passat is now part of the 1998 family sedan marketplace. A sleeker, more refined design is applied to a longer and wider version of the Passat. The 1998 Volkswagen Passat is offered with a sedan and wagon body style. The 1998 model year allows buyers of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta and Cabrio to request an optional seat-mounted side airbag for front passengers.