Last week we are at the media lunch and first-drive event for the new Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The model has evolved on a number of levels, so much so that since its debut at that event, many have speculated that the logical next step would be an R variant and/or a Jetta equipped with all-wheel drive.
Volkswagen, it appears, doesn’t see thing that way. The automaker says it doesn’t see a viable market for a Jetta R with the 4MOTION system.
It’s not surprising that rumours surfaced that such a version could happen, given that the new Jetta sits on the same modular platform as the Golf, called the MQB. It could therefore accommodate the 300-hp engine of the Golf R, as well as VW’s AWD system. Technically nothing would prevent the German manufacturer from producing a Jetta R. Except that there’s no confidence that such a project would be profitable.
In the view of VW, the Golf R’s success is an exception to the rule.
"Golf R customers aren't typical Volkswagen customers. The Golf R customer is much wealthier. They can buy an Audi but choose to drive a Golf R."
- Serban Boldea, Volkswagen's director of product marketing, in interview with Carbuzz
The executive added that integrating the 4MOTION system into the new Jetta was not in the company’s plans either, saying he didn't think “there would be enough of a market for it”.
So if you’re a Volkswagen fan and were hoping for a Jetta R with AWD, you’re out of luck and will have to look elsewhere for such a configuration.