There could, however, be space in the market for a more performance-oriented derivative. The so-called Jetta R was brought into discussion by MotorTrend, who spoke to Volkswagen of America’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Derrick Hatami. When they asked them about an ‘R’ Jetta, his answer was “never say never”.
At this stage, a Jetta R is perhaps a simple ‘what if’ idea. But if they decide to make it happen, then it should be similar to the Golf R. Thus, expect a 2.0-liter turbo-four, with 288 hp (292 PS / 215 kW) and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque, a configuration that allows the Golf R to hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in under 5 seconds.
Unlike the Jetta GLI, which is front-wheel drive, a possible Jetta R would adopt the 4Motion all-wheel drive system that transfers torque between the front and rear axles as needed, improving traction on slippery surfaces and in high-speed cornering.
Chassis upgrades, improved brakes and sporty exterior and interior touches will set it apart from the new Jetta GLI.
Speaking of which, the 228 hp (231 PS / 170 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque sedan will go on sale nationwide this spring in two trim levels, joined by a 35th anniversary model.
Note: 2019 VW Jetta GLI pictured