Volkswagen Jetta History | Catalog-cars

Volkswagen Jetta History

25 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Jetta History

Volkswagen Jetta


Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta is the sedan version of the compact car / small family car Volkswagen Golf, manufactured by Volkswagen since 1980. Until 2005, the name was only used in North America and South Africa, as it was dropped in Europe in 1991, when it was replaced by the Vento, which was in turn replaced by the Bora in 1998.

The Jetta was developed due in part of the Volkswagen marketing group’s observation that the North American market leaned more towards sedans as opposed to the Golf’s hatchback configuration. Similarly, in South Africa, the Jetta remains more popular than the Golf. This proved to be a wise move on Volkswagen’s part, as the Jetta became the best-selling European car in the United States.

The mechanicals are shared with the other Volkswagen A platform cars.

A1 (1980-1984)

The first generation Jetta appeared in the North American market in 1980, available as a two-door coupe and four-door sedan. Styling was penned at ItalDesign, by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Incidentally, Californian freelance magazine artist Mark Stehrenberger drew up a station wagon idea, although it did not make production.

A version of this model, known as the Volkswagen Fox, continued in production in South Africa until the late 1990s. In some markets, such as in Mexico, the A1 Jetta was known as the Volkswagen Atlantic.

Powering the base and GL trims in 1980 was a standard 1.6 L four-cylinder engine producing 78 hp (57 kW) and 83 ft·lbf (113 N·m) of torque. In 1981, the engine was upgraded to a 1.7 L engine producing 74 hp (54 kW) and 90 ft·lbf (121 N·m) of torque. Additional engine choices were a 1.6 L diesel engine making 50 hp (37 kW) and, in 1984 (the final year of the A1), a GLI high-performance version was offered, powered by a 1.8 L engine and a close-ratio transmission from the Rabbit/Golf GTI, which made 90 hp (67 kW) and 105 ft·lbf (142 N·m) torque.

A2 (1984-1992)

The A2 series is the longest running Jetta so far. Introduced in Europe in 1984 and in North America in 1985, the second generation Jetta proved to be a sales success for Volkswagen, outnumbering Golf sales two-to-one and securing the title of best-selling European car in North America.

Like the A1, the A2 was offered as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan; coupes were limited to base, diesel and Wolfsburg trim levels. The coupe model was dropped from the North American VW lineup after 1991. External changes throughout the A2 series’ run were few: the front-quarter windows were eliminated in 1988, larger body-colored bumpers and lower side skirts were added from 1990 to 1992, and there were various grille and side-cladding changes.

Base and GL Jettas were powered by a 1.8 L gasoline I4 rated at 85 hp from 1985 to 1986 (CIS and CIS-E Injection), then 100 hp (RV code Digifant engine management with a single outlet exhaust manifold) (75 kW) and later 105 hp (PF code Digifant with a freer-flowing dual outlet exhaust manifold) (79 kW).

Three diesel engines were offered in the A2 Jetta: a 1.6 L naturally-aspirated diesel with 52 hp (39 kW), a 1.6 L 68 hp (51 kW) turbodiesel, and a 1.6 L ECOdiesel that was sold for two model years, 1991 and 1992. The ECOdiesel made 59 hp (43 kW) and 81 ft·lbf (109 N·m) of torque.

The sportier GLI model was first powered by the standard 1.8 L gasoline engine with 100 hp (75 kW). In 1987 VW introduced its first DOHC engine, a 1.8 L 16-valve unit that made 123 hp (92 kW). The GLI became a serious performance contender in 1990 with the addition of a 2.0 L DOHC 16-valve engine rated at 134 hp (99 kW).

The 2.0 L 16-valve engine was equipped with the CIS Motronic engine management system.

The A2 Jetta Carat model sported luxury trim but it did without many of the performance upgrades of the GLI.

In the UK, the A2 Jetta fell into the small executive saloon car class along with the Vauxhall Belmont, Rover 213/216, Daihatsu Charmant, Audi 80/90, and the Ford Orion.

Chinese Jetta

The A2 Jetta went on to become one of the first Volkswagen models produced in China by Volkswagen’s second joint venture partner First Auto Works.

It has had two facelifts since its inception in China, the first facelift borrowed spare grilles left around from the Volkswagen Passat B4. The second facelift happened in 2004 and was very similar to the first facelift.

A3 (1991-1998)

Known in Europe as the Vento, the A3 was a refined evolution of the previous generation Jetta. The Vento debuted in 1991 while the Jetta debuted in 1993. Hailed as the Poor Man’s BMW, it was designed in-house under Herbert Schafer. The third generation Jetta was criticized for its boxy design.

Though only offered as a four-door sedan, the A3 spawned more trim levels than any other Jetta line. Exterior changes to the A3 through its production run were subtle, such as a new grille, body-colored rub strips, and different wheel covers.

The GL was the base trim while the GLS was the luxury trim with power locks and windows, optional sunroof and leather seats, etc. The Trek was a special trim that included a bike rack, a Trek bike, spoiler, rocker panel covers, alloy wheels, and in 1997, other accessories and options available for the top-of the line GLX, save for the VR6 engine. The K2 was a similar package, but in place of the bike was a K2 snowboard or a pair of K2 skis.

The City was a minimalist Jetta without a radio or air conditioning, while the 1994 Limited Edition and 1995 Celebration packages were value-priced GLs costing some $600 less than standard. The Jazz Edition was a GL with a 6-disc CD player standard. All were powered by a 2.0 L I4 making 115 hp (86 kW).

The diesel engine once again made its comeback with Volkswagen’s revolutionary 1.9 L TDI (Turbo Direct Injection) 90 hp (67 kW) diesel engine and was offered as a separate trim level. By far, one of the most exciting trim levels was the GLX, replacing the GLI designation. Motivated by the renowned VR6 SOHC six-cylinder, the 172 hp (128 kW) powerplant was able to catapult the Jetta to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, the fastest Jetta to date.

For those who preferred the GLX’s looks, the GT and Wolfsburg Edition offered GLX accessories without the venerable VR6.

A4 (1998-2005)

Known as the Bora in Europe and Latin America, the fourth generation Jetta debuted in late 1998 after its larger sibling, the Passat, with which it shared many styling cues. The rounded shape and arched roofline serve as the new Volkswagen styling trademark, abandoning traditional sharp creases for curved corners. The A4 came in four different trim levels (GL, GLS, GLX, and GLI), and was also offered as a wagon.

In some European markets, the station wagon version was marketed as a Golf (Estate in the UK and Ireland, Break in France, Variant in some areas) and had a Golf grille, headlights, bumper, and fenders.

The GL was the base model, powered by a slightly revised 2.0 L 8-valve four cylinder engine based on the previous models, an optional 1.9 L TDI diesel engine, and from 2001 on, by the turbocharged 1.8 L engine (Wolfsburg Edition). By 2002, Volkswagen had eliminated many of the original production issues with the original design, and later model year A4 Jettas are generally more desirable on the secondhand market. 2003 was also the last year in North America for the 1.9L ‘ALH’ TDI turbodiesel engine design, and its reputation for reliability and versatility (many owners use biodiesel and/or vegetable oil fuels) have resulted in high resale prices for cars with this engine.

The GLS was a step up, with options for leather seats and a sport package which included 17 alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension. This line offered all engine choices until 2003, when the VR6 choice was dropped. The GLX was the luxury model, with leather seats, wood grain trim, automatic climate control (Climatronic), rain-sensing windshield wipers, and other amenities.

In 2003, the VR6 engine moved to a drive-by-wire 24-valve design rated at 200 hp (150 kW). It was available in the GLX and the new-for-2003 GLI model. The GLI offered sport suspension, six-speed manual transmission, and the 200 hp (150 kW) VR6.

In 2004, the GLX model was dropped.

In 2004, Volkswagen offered the Jetta GLI. It offered a 180 hp 1.8 L inline-4, linked to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car received a stiffer and lower suspension (Eibach springs 20% stiffer than stock, 21 mm front sway bar, 23 mm rear sway bar, gas Monroe shocks, and upgraded rear bushings resulting in a 30 mm drop in the ride height), body kit (consisting of a front valance, sideskirts, and a rear valance), larger brakes (12.3 vented discs in front, 10 vented in rear), mildly smoked headlights and smoked taillights (R/SCC/R/SCC), and 18 (457 mm) BBS RC wheels equipped with low profile 40 series high-performance summer tires (Goodyear Eagle F1).

VW also installed a chrome exhaust with a single tip 2.25 in diameter. There were no options available. The GLI came equipped with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) to improve vehicle handling and safety in low-traction road conditions.

The GLI was available in Black Magic Pearl, Platinum Gray, Tornado Red, and Blue Lagoon. The interior was black with aluminum trim, including black upholstered Recaro bucket seats with red GLI lettering embroidered on the backrest (instead of the headrest), a black headliner with associated black trim, European gauge cluster, leather wrapped three spoke steering wheel, sunroof, Aluminum pedals (similar to Audi TT / Beetle Turbo S pedals), and a Monsoon 8-speaker stereo system with in-dash CD player and tape deck.

The car could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 235 km/h. Later models of this higher trimmed GLI were available with a five-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic.

Also in 2004, a new ‘PD’ version of the 1.9L TDI diesel engine was offered, a 1.9 L TDI unit producing 74 kW (100 hp DIN) and 177 ft·lbf (250 N·m) of torque. This new engine employed pump-equipped unit injectors and additional electronics and emissions equipment to meet new diesel emissions standards in North America, and is considerably more complex than the older ALH engine previously offered.

Commencing with the 2002 1/2 model year, all Jettas equipped with 1.8T engines, regardless of trim level, produced 180 hp (AWP engine code). This was a 30 hp improvement over the previous 150 hp 1.8T and was accomplished with a slightly larger turbocharger (K03S instead of K03) and a slight change to the engine mapping. The engine block was not changed.

A high performance version of the A4 Bora was sold in several countries, and had 4-Motion all wheel drive and a VR6 engine. 2.3 L VR5 and 1.6 L I4 engines were also available in Europe.

In some countries such as Mexico, the A4 Jetta is still sold as a 2006 model due to high pricing of the A5 for the Mexican market.

A5 (2005-present)

The fifth generation Jetta debuted at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show in January.

Built in Puebla, Mexico and exported to the rest of North America and Europe where the A5 is again called the Jetta, it is larger than the fourth generation with more upscale styling and greater interior room. One major change is the introduction of the first independent rear suspension in a Jetta. In North America, the base engine is a 2.5 L (2480 cc) I5 producing 110 kW (150 hp DIN) and 168 ft·lbf (228 N·m) of torque.

This new 20-valve DOHC engine is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo’s V10, sharing a similar head design and the same bore and stroke dimensions (82.5 x 92.8 mm). Replacing the venerable 1.8 T is a turbocharged 2.0 L 16-valve I4 rated at 147 kW (200 hp DIN) and featuring FSI. There is also the PD diesel engine, a 1.9 L TDI unit producing 74 kW (100 hp DIN) and 177 ft·lbf (250 N·m) of torque.

A DSG transmission, stability control, and electro-mechanical steering are also new innovations.

In North America, the A5 Jetta went on sale in March 2005, as a 2005 1/2 model, overlapping the final model year of the A4 Jetta. A GLI version was released as a 2006 model in North America in the late summer of 2005. The new Jetta was designed by Walter de’Silva.

2005 sales of the New Jetta were disappointing in the US, with the exception of the TDI diesel version, where rapidly rising fuel prices have resulted in heavy demand for vehicles equipped with this engine. While critics embraced the overall vehicle, some claimed the styling was too Japanese (with similarities to the Toyota Corolla), and that it is too high-priced for the highly competitive compact car market.

Volkswagen announced the Jetta in Europe in late May 2005. The model range returns to using the Jetta name on the continent, rather than Bora or Vento. In other parts of the world, this model does retain both names, usually in cases where a previous generation is still sold. For example, in Mexico, the A4 is still sold as the Jetta, while the A5 is the Bora.

In China, the A2 is still sold as the Jetta, while the A5 is sold as the Sagitar together with the A4 Bora.

It was launched in Latin America in 2006, where it is called Vento, as the A4 Bora will be sold for some time.

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