Volkswagen is to use its new, sixth-generation Jetta saloon to expand its R performance range.
At the Mk6 Jetta’s European launch in Munich last week, VW showed a version equipped with a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine with an “unspecified” power output, a six-speed DSG gearbox and the firm’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
VW’s R division was spun off as a separate in-house company earlier this year, similar to BMW’s M unit, and it is keen to develop a follow-up to the Golf R and Scirocco R models.
Also in development at the R division alongside the Jetta is the long-rumoured Polo R, following Audi’s announcement that it will re-engineer the Polo/A1 platform for four-wheel drive, something the platform was previously unable to cater for.
VW’s R&D chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, told Autocar that a Jetta R is being evaluated and its chances of production are secure if the customer demand is there. That should be a near certainty, given the popularity of V6 sports saloons in the US, the Jetta’s key market and one where VW expects to significantly increase volume of the new car.