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It’s almost a given that Volkswagen will introduce an R version of the new Jetta compact sedan, but new info has surfaced regarding its powertrain. According to AutoCar, the Jetta R won’t be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, but rather by a 3.6-liter V6. No specifics on that engine’s output have been given, but we have to think it will be somewhere near the 300-hp mark.
The V6 will be teamed up with VW’s 6-speed DSG gearbox and power will be transmitted to the ground via all four wheels. The car will most certainly get the fully independent rear suspension found on the European models, as well as on the top-level GLI model here.
VW R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg has commented that the official go-ahead for the car has not yet been given, but that it depends on market demand – which is expected to be significant.
The Jetta R would be a followup to the Scirocco R and Golf R in Europe although neither of those models has yet to make it to the U.S. – despite reports the Golf R is coming. Volkswagen is also rumored to be working on a Polo R model.
High-performance coupe and sedan versions likely to get 265-hp
With the launch of the Golf R, Volkswagen is considering a Jetta R model that will help expand the brand’s soon-to-be-launched high-performance R division. This new Jetta R won’t be based on the current Jetta platform but on the all-new Jetta, which is known as the New Compact Sedan. The look of the car was previewed at the Detroit Auto Show recently, in coupe form, with the introduction of the New Compact Coupe.
Volkswagen admits that high-performance European models are just too pricey to import to the U.S. and so by using this new Jetta platform, designed specifically to be a more affordable vehicle, it will be able to build high-performance models for the U.S. marketplace.
Plans for a Jetta R are well underway and while VW won’t officially confirm reports, it is believed that both an Jetta R Coupe and Jetta R Sedan are likely – much in the way that Honda offers the Civic Si in coupe and sedan forum. This new model would very much be aimed at the Si-crowd.
Most likely the a Jetta R would share its powertrain with the Golf R, using a turbocharged 4-cylinder making 265-hp. It is also likely to get VW’s 4MOTION AWD system and a long list of performance modifications, from a stiffer and lower suspension to bigger wheels and more powerful brakes.
Interestingly, in an interview with Inside Line, VW confirmed that the next Jetta will be build with two different rear suspension designs. The first will be a low cost torsion beam setup and the second will be a more sophisticated, sportier and more expensive multi-link setup.
Volkswagen has made it clear that it plans to become the world’s largest automaker and to more than quadruple sales in the U.S. by 2018. While high-performance R models aren’t likely to be top sellers, they will help create brand recognition and help sell standard Jetta and Golf models.