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We're here in Santa Monica, CA today for the first media drives of the new 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, so we did some asking around about additional diesel models for the lineup. VW of American Communications Director Steve Keyes filled in some details. First up, as expected, the next addition to the TDI lineup is the Touareg, which iscurrently scheduled to start production in mid-February 2009 at VW's plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. By the time the first Touaregs with the 3.0L V6 diesel roll off the boat onto U.S. shores it will be at least late March, more likely the first week or two of April. Later in the summer, the new VW product onslaught continues with the next-generation GTI based on the new MK VI Golf that is debuting at the Paris show next month. That will be followed by more pedestrian Rabbits with both the 2.5L five cylinder gas engine and the 2.0L TDI in the fall. VW has decided to continue with the Rabbit name for the U.S. since it seems to be selling well and Americans apparently like it.

One model that won't be getting the TDI treatment for a while is the new Tiguan crossover. According to Keyes, the Tiguan's extra size and weight mean extra load on the 2.0L TDI. As a result of working harder, the exhaust flow is greater and a urea injection system would be needed rather than the lean NOx trap used on the Jetta and Rabbit. Since the current Tiguan is not designed for a urea tank, it won't be getting a U.S. diesel anytime soon.


[Source: Volkswagen]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, this is exciting news for me. I've been eyeing up a TDI for about a year now, as a replacement for my rusty-but still-running-like-a swiss-timepiece 1984 Rabbit L Diesel. The fact that I will sometime this year be able to rock a brand new VW Diesel that says 'Rabbit' on the back makes me so happy i could poop gumdrops.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So let's guess it gets the same 29/40 mpg as the Jetta TDI. Why on earth would someone buy one of these TDI Rabbits instead of a new Honda Insight hybrid?

      I just don't get it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        when you factor in the production and recycling of the batteries, a hybrid car pollutes more than the average v8 suv!!! new "clean diesels" have more torque which means more fun, and achieve about the same fuel mileage as hybrids. all while polluting less over the entire life of the vehicle, and lasting a lot longer without major repair or maintenance. why else would europe have 70% of their vehicles running on diesel?!?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Rabbit is built entirely in Germany (not assembled in Mexico), the exterior length is slightly shorter than the Jetta (making it easier to park), it has approximately the same interior space as the jetta, but has the added convenience of a hatchback. Plus it's just cooler looking than the Jetta.

        Take care!
        • 6 Years Ago
        This *will* be my next car. No doubt fun to drive, gorgeous + comfortable interior. Hybrids are really sorta meh, once you consider the cost of replacing the battery (I keep a car well over 100k). You will be able to run biodiesel w this bearcat, which will be a strong consideration five years from now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why this instead of the insight. More performance and manual transmission.

        But for automatic drivers I think the insight would win. If the Insight has a manual trans, and decent performance, I would probably get that instead.

        I am looking to buy in 2010 and the more options the better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dave,,,,,,,,,,,,drive one and find out why.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Has anyone heard if VW is going to bring back the TDI Beetle? I would have thought this was a no brainer since its based off the Jetta platform, but I haven't heard anything. Not to mention the Beetle's perceived green connections with the general population. Anyone heard?
      • 6 Years Ago
      to Ray-Ray,

      Only thing is the new TDI wont be called rabbit, at least not in canada, and it remains to be seen if they will kep the rabbit nameplate in the US. Chances are it'll be called GOLF again. Anyway, that aside, congrats on keeping the rabbit so long, I had a 1983 rabbit diesel and that car could go forever, unfortunately at 500,000 km the body part that connected to the left lower control arm rusted out and i had to get into another diesel.. Great car though, the engine went into 3 other cars and has close to a million km on it now.

      How many km do you have on your rabbit?

      Sam
      • 6 Years Ago
      This could be my next car.

      If this has the same engine torque/HP as the Jetta 2.0L it should be a nice peppy ride and be cheaper and have a manual transmission option.

      Better chance of this I think than an Insight coming with manual transmission.

      I am open to any tech that gives me a manual transmission, excellent mileage, rear hatch and ~$20K price. This may be the leading contender.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like a winner. www.thecollegedriver.com seems to agree!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's to bad the planning dept of the jetta Tdi and the rabbit didn't meet to discuss front end looks. The 2010 rabbit wins hands down over the jetta. Can't believe the jetta comes without fog lights, just looks plain jane. I'll wait for the rabbit Tdi. Price should be about the same I hope.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I presume this means a diesel Routan doesn't yet appear in their crystal ball. This leaves Odyssey as the only US hope for a family-friendly diesel minivan anytime in the near future
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aren't Hybrids still in their (relative) infancy? All trucks, busses, Mercedes and Volkswagen diesels get broken in at 100,000 miles. The only argument would be, Americans get so bored with their cars, they would trade it in anyway. Why, Phil, does nearly every carmaker in Europe, UK, Australia and Asia offer diesel as a fuel option? (Holden, Vauxhall, Opel, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Rover and Ford to name just a few.)
      Rob
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 170hp/256ft lb torque 2.0TDI would be perfect in the Tiguan and the Passat sedan. No reason why that higher output version can be in the North American market. VW/Audi also has a 190hp 2.7TDI engine that gets in the high 30's for fuel economy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not that a milquetoast, wanna-be station wagon (just get the Jetta Sportwagen!) Tiguan would *ever* come near my driveway, but it's kind of nuts that VW can't engineer a vehilce with a brand new design for diesel. I get that North American diesels are different from those used in other countries, but come on.. that's lame.
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