Volkswagen has a long history of grassroots racing series in the US and elsewhere. For the past three decades those series mostly used various GTI models. For 2008, Volkswagen is replacing the current GTI cup with the new Jetta TDI Cup. As the name implies, the new series will use the new Jetta CleanTDI diesel sedan. For racing purposes, the 2.0L diesel will be rated at 170 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque pumping through the standard six-speed DSG gearbox. The suspension and brakes will be beefed up for track use and all the usual racing safety equipment will be included. The series will be organized by SCCA Pro Racing and up to thirty cars per race are expected.
"The Jetta TDI Cup racing series will celebrate Volkswagen's diesel technology and heritage in motorsports as good, clean fun," said Stefan Jacoby, CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Not only will the young drivers gain real-life track experience in a factory-prepared race vehicle, it will allow them to develop their own mindset of today's clean diesel technology, and foster increased awareness of its advantages in this new era of environmental sensitivity."
The Jetta TDI Cup shifts gears from the previously announced GTI program, allowing Volkswagen to showcase the power and performance of its new clean diesel technology, available in the upcoming 2009 Jetta TDI sedan and SportWagen. With up to 30 Jetta TDI's competing in the hands of aspiring, young drivers, this unique motorsport offering will highlight a new, exciting platform of racing that does not currently exist – a full field of clean diesel powered vehicles.
"With the Jetta TDI Cup, Volkswagen has created an amazing platform to develop young drivers and expand their knowledge about clean and quiet diesel technology," said Robert Wildberger, president and CEO, SCCA Pro Racing, Inc. "We look forward to the series in hopes that it will attract more attention to the drivers and advantages of diesel power."
The Jetta TDI Cup racecars will be optimized for track performance and safety. To focus on the skill of the young drivers and to ensure performance parity, proper maintenance and safety standards, all vehicles will be owned and maintained by Volkswagen. The heart of the Jetta TDI Cup racing vehicle will be the all-new, high-tech 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine rated at 170 horsepower and nearly 300 ft.-lbs. of torque in racing trim. The Jetta TDI race vehicles will be outfitted with a six-speed automatic DSG® transmission, electro-mechanical power rack-and-pinion steering system, and advanced multi-link fully independent race-tuned suspension, driver airbag supplemental restraint system, and four-wheel ABS racing brakes.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com.