We’re glad to hear Volkswagen still plans on launching a next-generation, performance-tuned Jetta GLI sometime next year — but the company could have an even sportier sedan up its selves. New reports suggest VW executives are investigating the possibility of crafting a Jetta R.
At a European press event held in Munich last week, VW showed off one 2011 Jetta that wasn’t entirely stock. According to Autocar, the display vehicle was powered by a 3.6-liter V-6, coupled with both VW’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Sound familiar? Apart for the engine, that’s a nearly identical driveline to that stuffed into the oh-so-sweet Golf R, and sure enough, Volkswagen officials told the British automag they’re eying an R-spec Jetta.
“If there are customers asking for it, we will do it,” Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s chief of R&D, told Autocar. “The Jetta’s platform can take four-wheel-drive.”
That’s not surprising, given the Jetta’s architecture is shared with a number of all-wheel-drive vehicles, including the Golf R and Audi A3. Still, we wonder if Volkswagen can truly craft a business case for such a beast. Autocar believes VW may pursue the idea of a V-6, all-wheel-drive Jetta specifically for North America, but seeing as many automakers are switching to small, efficient four-cylinders in lieu of V-6s, that rationale may no longer stand.
We also wonder if the likes of a V-6, sport-tuned Jetta would all but stomp upon the toes of Volkswagen’s other offerings, including the forthcoming New Midsize Sedan (NMS) and the curvaceous, sporty CC. Perhaps simply stuffing the Golf R’s entire powertrain configuration, which is built around a 267-horsepower form of the company’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, would be a better option.
What say you — is an all-wheel-drive, V-6-powered Jetta the six-cylinder wunderwagen of your dreams? Is the Golf R‘s turbocharged driveline a better match for the compact sedan, or should the automaker simply stick to hawking the Jetta GLI in the United States? Channel your thoughts to us by way of the comments section below.