Volkswagen has hatched plans for a second four-door coupe model as part of a strategy aimed at seeing it further boost its market share in both the crucial Chinese and North American markets while providing it with a suitable addition to its European line-up.
To be positioned beneath the recently facelifted Volkswagen CC, the new four-seater is set to form part of the seventh-generation Jetta line-up, joining successors to today’s saloon and estate models in an expanded three-strong model range – all set to hail from Volkswagen’s Puebla plant in Mexico, the same site responsible for the newly launched second-generation New Beetle.
Known internally under the designation SC (denoting sport coupe) – a name it is tipped to take into producton, the new four-door coupe was recently given a greenlight after US market studies revealed Volkswagen’s earlier plans for two door version of the Jetta, as previewed by the NCC (new coupe concept) at the 2011 Detroit motor show, garnered only a lukewarm response from potential customers, according to Wolfsburg insiders privy to plans for the new car.
“Our research suggests there is increasingly a market for a sportier and more stylish version of the Jetta in the mould of the CC only smaller and more affordable. From the feedback we’ve received so far buyers want an individual bodystyle and the practicality of four doors,” a Volkswagen source revealed to Autocar.
A further reason behind Volkswagen’s decision to add a second four-door coupe to its line-up stems from increasing sales of traditional four-door saloon style models. According to Volkswagen’s own figures some 889,945 Jetta-based sedan models (including the Chinese market Lavida and New Bora) were delivered in 2011 – up from 677,793 in 2009.
With a three door version of the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf due out later this year together with the existing Scirocco and second-generation New Beetle, the Volkswagen line-up is already well represented in the traditional coupe segment.
The SC has been conceived to compete against an upcoming sedan version of the new third-generation Audi A3 previewed at last year’s Geneva motor show as well as the Mercedes-Benz CLC, which is due to be previewed in concept car form at the upcoming Beijing motor show. It is planned to boast a more style led four door body than the standard Jetta saloon, with more angled screens, rounded turret line and notchback style boot.
It will be first in a new wave of Jetta models to be based on the German car maker’s MQB (Modularen Querbau) platform, as found beneath the new Audi A3. It is expected to be introduced to the UK market in 2015, undercutting the upcoming Audi A3 saloon on price while offering a similar range of turbocharged petrol and common rail engines sourced from a new engine plant being established by Volkswagen in Silao, Mexico.
The SC will be sold alongside a successor to today’s larger and more luxurious CC currently undergoing the first stages of development and also set for launch in 2015.