2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Preview

FAST FACTS
  • To be sold as 4-door sedan or SportWagen
  • Marks return of diesel technology to Volkswagen passenger cars

  • New 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine

  • Expected fuel economy to exceed 40 mpg city/50 mpg highway

  • Fuel economy will be 30 percent greater than a gasoline-powered Jetta with a similarly sized engine, according to Volkswagen

  • Delayed introduction due to "technical issue"

  • Arrives in summer 2008 as a 2009 model

  • Will be sold in all 50 states

  • Prices to be announced later

  • On display at Volkswagen's clean-diesel tour, known as Dieselution Tour

Introduction

The return of a diesel engine to Volkswagen's U.S. lineup (it had long been a mainstay, with diesel-engine models sometimes accounting for 30 percent of some model lines' sales) represents the German automaker's attempt to capitalize on issues such as higher gas prices and climate-change anxiety that have made hybrid vehicles such successful sellers.

Hardware

The 2.0-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine, which Volkswagen calls TDI, makes 140 hp and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. That makes for quick acceleration from stoplights, the automaker says. The engine meets Tier II/Bin 5 emission standards without needing the urea treatment that some other new-generation diesels will require. The Jetta's storage catalyst reduces nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 90 percent, and the car's engine-management system changes modes to treat NOx stored in the catalyst. The company says the new engine operates more smoothly and quietly than past Volkswagen diesels. A dual-clutch DSG automated manual transmission will be an option.

Something Extra

At the 2007 SEMA Show, the automotive aftermarket extravaganza held in Las Vegas, Volkswagen showed a modified 2009 Jetta TDI SportWagen. That car featured a lowered ride height with H&R springs, larger Brembo brakes, 19-inch Sportec alloy wheels and Yokohama performance tires. The exterior featured custom paint and logo graphics.

The Dieselution Tour, touring environmental and auto shows across America, runs through the Super Bowl in Phoenix in late January 2008.