‘Super Modern’ MK7 Volkswagen Jetta Will Get Manual Transmission and R-Line Trim

Volkswagen dispels rumors of its manual transmission’s demise in a clutch.

byRob Stumpf|
Volkswagen News photo

Volkswagen has always been a brand of the people. As such, it hasn't been uncommon for the brand to put forward option that the company believed made sense (financially, mechanically, or otherwise), even stripping some models of its manual transmissions. Contrary to initial reports, Volkswagen told VWVortex to expect not only a manual transmission option, but another long-awaited surprise.

Although the Golf was, and continues to be, the automaker's sporty-yet-functional vehicle, a time came when VW decided that the world needed a little less hatchback and a little more of an economical family car. That time was the year 1979, and the car was the Volkswagen Jetta.

The Jetta has long been the staple of Volkswagen's passenger cars in North America. Historically, it always fell on par with the GTI, having the same power and drive trains. Eventually, Volkswagen utilized its modular platform to build the two vehicles with an even closer bond in the name of cost-cutting. With base models allowing entry to an affordable European car, to more luxurious options such as the top-of-the-line GLI, there was a Jetta for nearly everybody.

VW owners were up in arms after initial reports came out that the Jetta would drop its option of a manual transmission. The automaker of the people dropping such a beloved part of its most popular sedan's feature set would surely mean heresy. Well, fellow car enthusiasts, Volkswagen of North America's CEO, Hinrich Woebcken, has confirmed that the Jetta would in fact be revealed with a manual transmission in January for the North American markets.

"We have given the car a North American 'touch,'" said Woebcken, "But not always in terms of low cost and less content, but in much more specific needs of the market. The Jetta will be, for me, a symbolic statement that Volkswagen is changing by really allowing to listen to American customers, American dealers, what the market needs." In reality, Americans may have wanted the Scirocco, but it looks like nobody is getting that anymore.

Emphasis in quality and modernism was also mentioned by the CEO, something which will likely bring the "emotion" back to the platform which has kept enthusiasts and brand-loyal customers afloat all of these years. VW recently made the decision to move production of the Golf back to Europe, a move that stripped the car away from assembly plants in Mexico amid tensions with the United States' trade laws. Considering how well Volkswagen is doing lately, it looks like these changes were among VW's plans for some time.

But perhaps the biggest surprise in store is that Volkswagen has confirmed that an R-Line version of its consumer sedan, something which North America hasn't had the pleasure of having yet. Though it is unknown what the R-line version of the Jetta will give to consumers, we certainly hope that it follows tradition and means something meaner, sportier, and makes use of all four wheels to propel the car. The GLI will also be available, however it will be delayed a year past initial launch of the model.