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VW Shows a Glimpse of Next-Gen Jetta, SportWagen
As Volkswagen prepares to launch the sixth generation of its Golf hatchback around the world, plans are already in line to replace other Golf-based models namely the sedan and station wagon variants - known as the Jetta and Jetta SportWagen in the U.S. Sales of the European-spec 2010 Volkswagen Golf Estate began today giving fans of the current Jetta SportWagen a glimpse of what the future holds. In sedan form, the current Jetta body has been on sale since 2005, so we're expecting a replacement next year as a 2011 based off the new Golf. The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta SportWagen will use the same design language as seen on the upcoming Golf, and they will be available with the fuel-efficient, 50-state legal TDI diesel engine.
Compared to the current model, the major changes to the Jetta SportWagen will the front end of the car and the interior. Up front, the new Golf and its variants get sportier headlights inspired by the European-only VW Scirocco. The new face of the Jetta replaces the large chrome shield similar to Audi vehicles that many thought didn't look at home on the front of VW vehicles. The Euro-spec 2010 Golf Estate only shows changes to the front end, but we're expecting bigger changes in store for the sedan model. Overall, the new look is much more aggressive than the current model, but the sleek lines should also increase the car's overall aerodynamics.
Inside, the 2011 VW Jetta will get a redesigned cabin that, like the exterior design, doesn't stray too much from the current car. From the driver's seat, the most noticeable changes include a sportier wheel, larger instrument gauges and a more ergonomic layout of the center stack controls. The 2011 SportWagen will retain useful features such as the 60/40 split folding rear seat with center pass through and, for a touch luxury, the panoramic sunroof.
While the new Jetta models will be significantly redesigned inside and out, they will both still use the same engines as the current model. Base models will continue to use a 2.5-liter inline-5, while the Jetta TDI and Jetta SportWagen TDI will get their power from the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with common rail direct injection. Gear selections will most likely come from the same transmission options currently available from either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic with Tiptronic.
Volkswagen is still planning to introduce a new midsize sedan by 2011, so the pricing of the new Jetta will probably stay the same when it makes it debut. The 2009 VW Jetta sedan currently starts at $17,515, while the 2009 Jetta SportWagen starts at $19,075. Other additions are planned for Volkswagen's North American lineup with a goal to increase sales to 800,000 units by 2018. Between new models and a new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., VW is looking toÂ increase its share of the market while producing more competitively priced vehicles. Besides the New Midsize Sedan (NMS), VW is also planning a New Compact Sedan (NCS) and is considering a mid-engine roadster based on the 2009 BlueSport Concept that debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
With multiple Golf models going on sale later this year, the new Jetta and Jetta SportWagen should be ready by next spring. So far, Volkswagen of America has announced that the Rabbit will be renamed the Golf and it will be available in at least three different models. The base Golf will be a standard compact hatchback, while the GTI will be a performance-tuned model powered by a turbocharged inline-4 putting out 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the Golf GTD will feature a clean diesel TDI engine that balances performance (0-60 miles per hour in under eight seconds) with fuel economy (expect over 44 mpg).
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