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.