Volkswagen's new 2011 Jetta has just landed on European shores, but Germans already have new plans for it. During the European press launch, the media got a taste of the Jetta R with a special prototype fitted with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, six-speed DSG transmission and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
Should it make into production, you can rest assured that the R division will dress-up the Jetta with a body kit, probably featuring more aggressive spoilers, lowered side sills and other R goodies, plus interior appointments. We reckon racing seats, sportier steering wheels and pedals are safe bets.
The Jetta R should fit snugly in the R line-up, alongside the Golf and Scirocco sports models and the also rumored Polo R. Its future depends on customer feedback: if enough people want it, Volkswagen will make it. Simple as that.
"If there are customers asking for it, we will do it. It wouldn't be a problem for us. The Jetta's platform can take four-wheel drive" VW R&D chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, told Autocar magazine, which managed to snap a shot of the prototype Jetta's V6 powerplant (see here).
It should be noted that the European Jetta has received many upgrades over its American counterpart. These include the use of higher quality and softer materials on the control panel and a more sophisticated four-link suspension system at the back instead of the U.S.-spec model's simple, beam axle setup.
Then again, the base Jetta in Germany, which is powered by a 105HP 1.2-liter TSI petrol, starts at €20,900 (about US$29,435 at today's exchange rates), whereas the entry-level U.S. model with a 115HP 2.0-liter petrol, starts just $15,995 (around €11,400). Guess you get what you pay for...
By Csaba Daradics