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Volkswagen has released the first official photos of the all-new fifth generation Jetta. The Jetta V has grown larger in all dimensions, offers a range of new powerplants including an all-new 2.5l inline-5 cylinder and has an overall more upscale appearance that brings Volkswagen’s new front end design language to a production model.
The Jetta has grown in size with the fifth generation model to an overall length of 179.3 inches, a width of 69.3 inches and a wheelbase stretched to 101.5 inches. That brings the overall length up 7.1 inches, width up 1 inch and the wheelbase a healthy 2.6 inches longer over the outgoing Jetta IV. We were given a sneak peak at the new Jetta V several months ago and first impressions are that it looks big but well proportioned. The longer wheelbase translates into significantly more rear seat room (nearly all of that 2.6 inches is in the back seat) and gone are the days that you have to worry about putting friends and family in the back seat – lots of room even for my 6 foot tall frame. Compared to other similar products, the Jetta V is 3.4 inches longer than the Volvo S40 and the same width as an Acura TSX.
The Jetta V will initially be offered early next year with an all-new 2.5l inline-5 cylinder derived from the V10 Lamborghini Gallardo engine. This engine will essentially be replacing the exising 2.0l 4-cylinder as the new base engine. Volkswagen says the new 2.5l inline-5 will make 150hp and 168 lb-ft. of torque and will be mated to either the MQ250 five-speed transmission or the butter smooth Aisin built six-speed tiptronic automatic. Volkswagen tells us the 2.5l inline-5 has been “detuned” to 150hp for a base engine configuration but is capable of a bit more horsepower, so there is plenty of room to grow with this new engine. There will also be a 100hp 1.9l TDI diesel option available with a five-speed manual or Volkswagen’s trick six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) and finally the venerable 2.0l FSI 4-cylinder turbo with 200hp and a MQ350 six-speed manual or six-speed DSG (no tiptronic with the 2.0T) will be available in both higher trim level Jetta V models and in the forthcoming Jetta GLI model. There are no current plans to offer a VR6 model at this point although Volkswagen points out that it is still a possibility. So engine choices and particularly transmission choices look promising and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a 3.2l VR6 model with 4motion AWD.
The new Jetta V is also a recipient of the Golf V’s vastly improved revised Macpherson strut front suspension and all-new full indepenent rear suspension. Coupled with a claimed 80% increase in overall chassis rigidity, the new Golf V both rides and handles wonderfully with virtually no dive, no squat and no roll even on base configurations. We expect the Jetta V will likewise handle and ride far better than the outgoing Jetta IV model.
Interior trim is similar to the Golf V layout but Volkswagen claims that quite a bit more soft-touch plastics were used in the Jetta V to up both the appearance and feel of the interior trim pieces. Controls are well laid out and ergonomics have improved with better seats, improved layout and use of controls and increased visability all around. Rear seat room as mentioned before is vastly improved with the new model and give the Jetta V a truly usable rear seat.
The exterior styling is a mix of unique Jetta V pieces largely grafted onto a pair of Golf V headlamps. While the headlamps are a departure from the typically square Jetta units, the unique front bumper, grill and chrome treatment along with the crease line running from the front fender to the rear quarter panel gives the Jetta a unique looks that is both a bit more imposing and more substantial in how the car sits on its wheels and appears in person. The trunk section is quite a bit longer than the outgoing Jetta and is finished off with a new tailamp design similar to the Concept R and likely to be seen on more new models in the future. Overall the chrome accents are tastefully done and look better integrated than they were on the Jetta IV giving the car a far more upscale look. If you like the photos, you’ll like the car even more. If you aren’t sure, seeing the car in person can really change your mind as it generally looks better in the flesh.
Volkswagen is assuring us that quality is very important with the new model. Significant investments in the millions were made both in Wolfsburg with the Golf V and in Mexico with the Jetta V to improve quality across the board. So far the Golf V has improved quite a bit over the Golf IV and Volkswagen has entire teams now dedicated to making constant improvements throughout the lifecycle of the products. Time will tell, but we’ve been impressed so far by what we hear and see going on.
The Jetta V will be shown publicly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January followed by the Detroit Auto Show a week later. It will go on sale here in North America the 1st quarter of 2005 (in dealers in March as of this writing) with a price expected to be close to the outgoing Jetta IV model. Expect options to include both a sport line and a luxury line with aluminum trim, sport suspension and larger wheels on the sport line options and wood trim and more luxury features going the luxury option route. Navigation and high intensity discharge headlamps will also be available as an option so Volkswagen is addressing critism from existing owners that options available on German cars aren’t available on North American models. Overall the packaging and trim levels look very promising.
For enthusiasts though, the Jetta GLI will be the one to watch. There hasn’t been a bad review of the new Golf V GTI yet and everyone that drives it feels that the GTI is finally back. Building a Jetta GLI off the same recipe can only be a good thing for the rest of us. The Jetta GLI should be available some time in June or July of 2005.
Volkswagen of America press release follows below:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Volkswagen today released the first official photos of its all-new Jetta, which goes on sale this coming March in the U.S. and Canada.
The Jetta model is Volkswagen’s most popular in the U.S., accounting for about 40 percent of the brand’s overall volume in this market. It is perennially the number-one selling European nameplate sold in the U.S.
The photos released today show a completely redesigned Jetta sedan, and depict the fifth generation of the German automaker’s sedan that first went on sale in 1980 in the U.S.
Set to make its worldwide public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on January 5, 2005 where its price will also be announced, the new Jetta will be a significant evolution of this Volkswagen model that celebrates its 25th year in the U.S. and Canada in 2005. During that time, it has generated sales of more than 2.2 million units in those markets.
Like its predecessors, the new Jetta will offer a distinct choice in the compact sedan market. The new Jetta has bold dynamic styling and larger dimensions than its predecessor. As always, the Jetta’s styling, technology and European character will attract people who love to drive and desire something different. As expected, this sophisticated Jetta also offers traditional Volkswagen value for the money.
Since the Jetta’s introduction in 1980, this compact, affordable German sports sedan has evolved significantly with each new design. This new Jetta is no exception: it has grown in size from the previous model, while again offering a more advanced level of German engineering and technology that is unique in its competing market segment.
Drivers of the new Jetta will enjoy the model’s first fully independent suspension system that uses a multi-link rear and optimized front axle, a new powerful base engine with a larger displacement of 2.5 liters and five-cylinders generating 150 horsepower (versus a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, 115 hp engine in the previous model), a new optional six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic including a special “sport” mode selection.
In addition, later in the year, Volkswagen will offer its revolutionary transmission called DSG (TDI only), which is essentially an automated manual transmission system offering the inherent efficiency and economy of a manual with the ease of operation of an automatic. Also among the most impressive new driving advancements are a standard high-tech electro-mechanical steering system, a new technically advanced electronic stability program (ESP), and new-generation ABS all-disc brakes.
The new Jetta’s interior will be roomier than ever with a larger trunk and more legroom and occupant space. As one expects from a modern Volkswagen, the new Jetta will offer a highly refined interior treatment, with a long list of standard comfort and convenience features. Some of the safety features for the new Jetta include front side thorax airbags, Side Curtain Protection (for head) in front and rear, crash-active front headrests, crash-optimized foot pedals that descend upon serious impact, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), three-point safety belts at every position, adjustable headrests for all five occupants, front belt pre-tensioners with load limiters, and safety belts with emergency locking retractors complete this all-new Jetta sedan.
Built for worldwide distribution at Volkswagen’s high-tech production facility in Puebla, Mexico, the Jetta’s assembly process promises to set quality standards for this model segment. Volkswagen AG invested extensively to further advance the modern assembly sequences and technologies at its sole North American site—a facility that according to internal quality audits ranks as one of the Volkswagen Group’s top factories in the world.
The new Jetta has a stronger body than its predecessor, recording double-digit improvements in its dynamic and torsional rigidity. This is achieved through the use of more high-strength body panels, world-class design and engineering, and an advanced, highly automated, laser-welding system. The result is a dramatic increase in laser-welded seams–nearly 14 times more than the previous Jetta. The net benefit of this bonding process is a class-leading fit and finish, improved body strength, crash protection, driving dynamics, and reduced interior noise.
This all-new Jetta once again documents Volkswagen’s attention to detail, unique driving dynamics, high-energy looks and quality materials to match and exceed the expectations of the North American customer.
Volkswagen of America has set up a “teaser” website to receive more information on the new Jetta V. Included is this additional photo of the Jetta V outside in the real world:
You can find more information on the VW website at: http://www.vw.com/itscoming/
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