During a roundtable discussion at the Red Bull GRC Championship race this past Saturday in Los Angeles, Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen North America, revealed a few details regarding the next-gen Jetta. The new sedan will have a coupe-like silhouette and has been designed for the U.S. market’s needs.
For starters, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The sedan is expected to go on sale during the spring of next year and will be based on the flexible MQB platform. The seventh-gen Jetta is expected to have a coupe-like profile, along with sporty lines and new technology. Design and development for the new sedan revolved around U.S. customers’ needs.
“The Jetta is heavily positioned for the U.S. market. Of course we are going to export the car to other markets, but the majority of the car will stay in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. And that’s why we decided to give this car a North American touch, not always in terms of lower costs or less content, but in specific needs for the market,” said Woebcken. “The Jetta will be for me a symbolic statement that Volkswagen is changing by really allowing to listen to American customers and American dealers what that market means.”
Woebcken described the new Jetta as having a coupe-like form, and promised it will be “great-looking.” He added that the 2019 Jetta was shown to U.S. and Canadian dealers in Las Vegas back in April and they were “extremely excited” about it. At that meeting, the dealers asked for the R-Line to arrive from the launch, and Woebcken confirmed that it will be available within the first three months of the on-sale date. The Jetta GLI model will arrive within the first year.
The previous investments made in VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico have allowed that facility to produce models on the MQB architecture and no further significant investments will be needed for the production of the MQB-based Jetta.
Powertrains were not discussed during the roundtable, but we can expect the 1.4-liter turbo-four to carry over to the 2019 model, perhaps with more power. Currently, that engine produces 150 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
Also discussed briefly was the new Passat, which will arrive to the market in 2019. Woebcken said he drove the car during the development phase and described its design as “not evolutionary, but really exciting exterior design.” He said people would still be able to recognize it as a Passat, although “it’s really different.”
Stay tuned for more information on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta once we get closer to the Detroit auto show.