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VW unveils new Jetta in the US

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In a glittering ceremony at the Times Square in New York, Volkswagen unveiled its all-new Jetta sedan yesterday. Based on the sixth generation Golf platform, the Jetta has been a Volkswagen best-seller with over 9.6 million units of the previous five generations sold.

Designed to be bigger and bolder than before, the new Jetta no longer appears as a Golf with a boot, rather VW will now like us to believe that the Jetta is as independent a platform as say the Tiguan, sharing no components with the Golf. First shown as the NCC concept at the Detroit Motor Show, the Jetta's overall length has increased by 90 mm, with the wheelbase increasing by 70 mm. This could very well translate into more interior space and better ability to take on its rivals, the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Laura and Chevrolet Cruze. As the press release further states, the interior legroom has increased by 67 mm to take overall legroom up to 967 mm with genuine five seater capability.

On the outside, the 'design DNA' concept of group design chief Walter Da Silva and Klaus Bischoff focuses on making the car appear tauter than before. Trapezoidal head lamps, a black radiator grille and splitters on the front bumper (a la VW Polo) give the car its own identity. The strong waist line and knife cut wheel arches are derived as it is from the NCC concept to give the car some relief unlike the previous Jetta that was considered 'boring' by many. (contd...)   The tail lamps seem to be inspired by the new VW Phaeton and Audi group cars, while making it rather interesting. On the whole, there are more pinched lines and creases to give the car more interesting lines and details that should be more visible in the flesh.

For Europe, six new engines are being offered on the Jetta. A 1.6-litre TDI with 105 bhp and 2.0-litre TDI with 140 bhp will be the mainstay of the diesel lineup. Four new petrol engines - a 1.2-litre TSI with 105 bhp, a 1.4-litre TSI with 160 bhp, a 1.4 TSI with 122 bhp and 2.0-litre TSI with 200 bhp will wrap up the range. Both the 1.2 TSI and 1.6 TDI feature Volkswagen's Blue Motion technology while six-speed DSG will be available as an option with all engines, except the TSI. Manual gearboxes too will be offered with these engines.

So when does the new Jetta arrive in India? Well, after the US and Europe, it's the turn for India, which could mean anytime in the second quarter of 2011 when the new teuton arrives. Expect it to be assembled in India like the current model and be a bit more expensive when it arrives. We expect Volkswagen India to offer the 2.0-litre TDI for sure, but whether they will now take the risk and offer their fuel-sensitive turbo petrols remains to be seen.