As part of efforts to appeal to a younger group of customers, Volkswagen is considering producing an R version of its upcoming sixth-generation Jetta at its Puebla factory in Mexico. This new model to its US lineup is a worthy addition to a number of image-leading performance models. It is likely that the new four-door sedan will be previewed at the SEMA Show in November.
It has been designed to compete against the Japanese and European performance models such as the Honda Civic Si and BMW 128i. Volkswagen has yet to officially confirm the existence of the new model but officials at the European launch of the new Golf R in Ellmau, Austria this week said that production plans for the Jetta R are well advanced.
According to a high level Inside Line source familiar with Volkswagen's North American model strategy, the cars modular construction and production process is fairly straightforward. He said that for the car to be profitable, the company has to be able to formulate a sound business case.
He explained that VW doesn´t like to leave the affordable performance sedan market in the US to our rivals but that importing sporting models from Europe is prohibitively expensive at the moment.
Because the Puebla factory is now the sole producer of the Jetta worldwide, VW aims to incorporate production of an R version of its upcoming compact sedan and possibly a coupe sibling, as previewed by the NCC (New Compact Coupe) at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
It is likely that powering the car is the latest evolution of Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder direct injection gasoline engine, similar to what is used in the Scirocco R and Golf R. It is able to generate 265bhp and 258lb ft of torque.