A Volkswagen source told Autoweek the brand is mulling a "lifestyle-targeted Jetta model" of the next Jetta Sportwagen. It would compete against the popular Subaru Outback, which is Subaru's most popular car and one of this year's 50 best-selling U.S. nameplates. The Jetta variant would include unique styling with revised bumpers and side cladding, much like the Jetta Alltrack concept (above) introduced at last April's New York International Auto Show. Ground clearance would have to go well beyond the current Jetta Sportwagen's 5.4 inches, however. The Alltrack added another 1.2 inches of clearance, but the Outback boasts an SUV-like 8.7 inches. Autoweek reports the Alltrack would share the next Jetta Sportwagen's platform, with direct-injection gasoline or diesel engines. That's a change from the current port-injected gasoline Jetta Sportwagen, and it could spell much better gas mileage than the car's EPA-rated 26 mpg combined. We'll let you know as we learn more.
In other news:
- GM may have sold only 7,057 Chevrolet Volts through May, but the Detroit Free Press reports California buyers, who enjoy additional state incentives and carpool-lane access for low-emission versions, are clamoring for them.
- Enterprise will introduce Enterprise Car Share, an hourly car-rental business that follows Zipcar and Hertz On Demand with hourly car rentals, Bloomberg News reports via the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Jaguar has mixed sentiments toward the portrayal of philandering executives and svelte cars that won't start on AMC's "Mad Men," The Detroit News reports. "You see it when we see it: We cringe, we laugh, we smile," Jaguar spokesman Stuart Schorr told the newspaper. "Our job is to sell cars, not to defend the morality of our fictional executives."
- Chrysler, whose sales are up 33% this year, has ridden the comeback of auto lending to shoppers with mediocre credit, Automotive News reports. Experian Automotive says nearly a third of Chrysler buyers have credit scores below 680.
- Ford announced Sync with AppLink can now stream MOG's on-demand music across AppLink-equipped 2012 models.