Earlier this year, we reported on Volkswagen donating a pair of Volkswagen Passat models to the local police department of Herndon, Va. which is where VW has recently relocated its American headquarters. As we suspected in our June report, VW is once again helping out local law enforcement by donating four Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDIs. With VW set to commence production at a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., the German automaker donated two cars each to the police departments of the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County.
Like the Passat police cars, these new Jetta SportWagen TDI models are a token of appreciation to the surrounding area of VW's newest production facility. The new Chattanooga assembly plant will build the upcoming New Midsize Sedan (NMS) which is expected to replace the Passat in the United States. Like the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sedan, the production version of the NMS (which could be unveiled at an upcoming auto show) is likely to grow in size and shrink in price.
"This generous gift is much appreciated and will be a welcomed addition to our expanding Chattanooga Police Department," said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. "We applaud Volkswagen for their continued investment in our community."
Unlike most police cars, there will be few changes between the stock 2010 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI and these models donated. The only modifications made for the police cars are on the interior to make room for the police-specific communications and lighting equipment. FMS Automotive helped rework the interior to accommodate the additional equipment needed for police duty.
While current police cars use powerful V-8 engines (or even V-6s), the Jetta SportWagen TDI police cars will continue to use the peppy, fuel efficient 2.0-liter inline-four TDI engine. This diesel engine produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, but more importantly it has EPA fuel economy estimates rated at 30 miles per gallon in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.
"Volkswagen is thrilled to be able to provide technologically advanced Jetta SportWagen vehicles to both the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County police departments to help keep the area safe while driving in a reliable, versatile and stylish vehicle," said Frank Fischer, Chairman and CEO of Volkswagen's Chattanooga Operations. "Volkswagen is committed to continue building a longstanding relationship with the Chattanooga community and we know these vehicles will provide the officers of this area with the kind of performance they need to get the job done."
The Chattanooga assembly plant is expected to open early next year with an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.
"Since Volkswagen announced their billion dollar investment in Hamilton County they have demonstrated numerous times their willingness to be a good corporate neighbor," said Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. "Today's gift of two law enforcement vehicles is further proof of Volkswagen's commitment to Hamilton County and we thank them for their generosity."
Photos: PR NEWSWIRE