With diesel engines virtually extinct in the U.S. market, we’ve been looking forward to the debut of Volkswagen’s clean-diesel Jetta TDI, slated for the spring of 2008. It now looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer.
Volkswagen pushed back the release of the TDI due to a “technical issue that was found in the late stages of durability testing,” according to a recently released memo acquired by Brandweek. The TDI now appears poised for its debut in late summer 2008.
Part of Volkswagen’s trouble lies in the 50-state test. The U.S. has some of the strictest emissions standards for diesel vehicles, and in order for automakers to sell their cars in all 50 states, it must meet emissions standards set forth in every state, including California and its stringent Air Resources Board.
With a number of automakers hoping to re-introduce diesel engines to the American market in more-environmentally-friendly form, all eyes are on Volkswagen and its new Jetta. Consumer interest certainly seems piqued, though. We’ve already written about the enthusiasm for VW’s diesel vehicles, and Brandweek reported the claims of one VW dealer who says three out of every five calls he receives are inquiries about the clean-diesel Jetta.