Jetta R Release Not In VW’s Plans For Now

Jetta R Release Not In VW’s Plans For Now

Touted as early as 2010, the Volkswagen Jetta R won’t be traveling the streets of the United States anytime soon and it could be because a Jetta R would feature All-Wheel Drive (AWD), making the car too expensive for the Jetta base customer.

VW Jetta GLI

The question about the possible release of the vehicle recently came up during a press conference attended by VW Director Of Marketing Serban Boldea for the unveiling of the Golf GTI. When asked if there were future plans for a Jetta R, Boldea quipped that he didn’t think that there’s a market for such a high performance car. He added that the Jetta is “… a more price-sensitive product than the Golf ….” He added that Golf R customers are wealthier than the Jetta clientele.

For comparison, a 2019 Jetta GLI has a starting price of $26,890, while the Golf R starts at $40,000. The AWD on a potential Jetta R would nudge the price tag way above that starting amount.

All-Wheel Drive is just starting to trickle down to the compact car slice of the market and Boldea doesn’t believe there is support for it in the Jetta customer base.

However, the 2019 Mazda 3 has AWD and if its sales receive a hefty boost, then the executives at VW may have to take another look at a Jetta R.

Talk of a Jetta R began in the end of 2010 when Volkswagen announced the beginning of the R division that would create high performance modifications of the company’s top models. When VW unveiled the Mk6 Jetta in October 2010 it was said to be a player in its expansion of the R performance models.

The VW R division was created as a separate, but in-house company similar to BMW’s M unit and Mercedes-Benz AMG division. Talk back then was the German carmaker was keen on releasing another high performance model soon after it introduced the Golf R and Scirocco R.

At the time, VW R&D director, Ulrich Hackenberg said that a Jetta R was being evaluated and production depended on customer demand. It was thought to be a “near certainty” then due to the popularity of V6 sports cars in the U.S. That was considered Jetta’s key market and one in which VW wanted to increase its presence.

So it appears that Jetta customers may have to settle for the Jetta GLI if they want high performance and many will probably think that ain’t too shabby.

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