VW outlines U.S. product offensive - VW of America says it plans to launch nine new models or variants in the United States within the next two years. On tap near term is the Passat 1.8T 4Motion, which debuts in the first quarter and marks the latest move to grow all-wheel drive into a larger share of VW’s U.S. volume. Closely following in the second quarter will be the Jetta GLI, the Touareg V-10 TDI and the Passat TDI. The Jetta GLI will offer a special-equipment package, as the model enters its final months before the next generation debuts. The Touareg TDI will provide VW’s SUV with a power-rich competitor to take on the high-end versions of the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne. The Passat TDI rounds out VW’s plans to bring diesel powertrains to the masses. Beyond 2004, VW will roll out an all-new Jetta sedan to the United States in March 2005, with an all-new Passat sedan expected to follow in September 2005. VW sources confirm there are no plans to bring a W8 Passat to the U.S. market with the introduction of the next-generation car. The next-generation GTI will round out VW’s 2005 product plans, when it launches in October. VW will introduce its new Passat wagon to U.S. buyers in February 2006, with the new Golf rounding out the product offensive in May 2006. The Microbus, however, remains under development, although an exact introduction date for the United States is unclear.
(WardsAuto.com, Feb. 25)