Astute reader will keep in mind this is no the same long-term Jetta 1.8T we presented in the February 2001 worry of europe Car. Unfortunately, that shiny-red Jetta didn"t continue to be in our irreversible fleet because that long--it was severely damaged after sport Compact automobile editor Larry Saavedra hit a center divider through it on the means home indigenous the SEMA present (see sidebar for the excruciating details).

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Fortunately, the world at Volkswagen PR are of a generous and benevolent nature and also decided to give us an additional chance--and an additional car. Our new Jetta is the exclusive Wolfsburg Edition, the an initial "new" Jetta Wolfsburg edition due to the fact that 1997. Production numbers because that the 2001 version are restricted to 20,000 U.S. And also 2,000 Canada.


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Based top top the present Jetta GLS 1.8T, the Wolfsburg Edition design is identified by such functions as a sports-tuned suspension, bolstered cloth-covered sport seats, a one-of-a-kind three-spoke leather steering wheel, 16-in. Polished alloy BBS wheels, a leather, hand-stitched transition knob, boot and also brake handle, and Wolfsburg edition exterior badges.


The Wolfsburg"s fully independent suspension, calibrated through stiffer setups for both struts and springs, is consisted of in prior of a MacPherson strut device with coil springs and lower wishbones; at the rear is a track-correcting torsion beam axle through high-volume rubber bushings, gas-pressurized shocks and coil springs. In both the front and rear, stabilizer bars are supplied for boosted body-roll control. The chassis likewise benefits from power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel bowl brakes (ventilated front) with the latest- generation ABS.


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Tornado Red ~ above the outside and also beige towel inside (both in ~ no extra charge), ec"s Jetta Wolfsburg Edition has actually myriad biology comforts, including two options: the Monsoon sound system (an in-dash CD/Cassette AM/FM stereo supported by eight speakers and an anti-theft alarm for a just $325) and a power sunroof ($915). Conventional amenities incorporate an adjustable steering wheel (for both rake and reach), height-adjustable prior seats, heated remote mirrors, one-touch power windows, main remote locking (something we"ve concerned expect on every European Cars), digital cruise control and a 60/40 separation folding behind seat.


One other available option no on our long-term Jetta is Volkswagen"s cold weather package through heated windshield washer nozzles and also heated former seats.


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Base priced at $19,600, the Jetta Wolfsburg edition adds approximately $1,300 worth of standard equipment at only $250 over the price the the base-model Jetta GLS 1.8T. Litter in the expense of ours Jetta"s 2 options, and the complete comes out to $21,365.


So far, we"ve just done neighborhood jaunts in the Jetta, averaging 26 or therefore mpg with numerous city-street driving, freeway stop-and-go commutes, etc. The 150-bhp 1.8T four-cylinder engine, mated come the conventional five-speed hand-operated transmission, does quite well in this environment thanks to the 155 lb-ft the torque obtainable from 1750 to 4200 rpm. This flat torque curve permits the Jetta come scoot in and out of rojo chicanes through ease. We"re looking front to security a complete year in our special Jetta.


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Here Today, gone TomorrowReturning home from the SEMA present in las Vegas, I"m cruising southern on the 1-15-a road I"ve driven plenty of times without any mishaps.


I popular music in one more CD, take a swig that my big Gulp and also find my comfort zone. Desert winds shot to buffet the car, yet I feel only slight wavers in the Jetta"s stability. Suddenly, a more powerful gust rocks the Jetta, and also this time I sluggish down-and capture a glimpse of my left rear tire in the procedure of coming turn off the wheel!


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The Jetta swerves to the right, ns lightly lift turn off the accelerator, and also then all hell breaks loose. The bare wheel digs into the asphalt choose a ship"s anchor in a muddy river bottom. The automobile becomes unbalanced, the steering fades, and also I"m quiet doing 60 mph. The Jetta skates out of control, and also I"m heading straight for the center concrete divider.


I have just sufficient time come ponder the irony the the facility divider is additionally the only thing separating me indigenous oncoming traffic, as soon as the Jetta smashes right into the concrete through enough influence that I"m flung right into the upper component of the A-pillar ... Hard. The sound that exploding airbags ring in mine ears, the Jetta spins again, and also this time the wipes out the driver"s side of the car.


The airbag residue filling the cockpit v so lot smoky flour that ns can"t also see what I"m going to hit next, or who is going come crash into me. All this happens in slow-moving motion---very bizarre stuff. Then, simply as quickly as the wild fide begins, the Jetta pertains to a clunky stop, the CD player tho howling v the tunes i popped in minute ago. The rescue crew can"t believe I"m walking away from this crumpled wreck with only minor cuts and bruises. (Let"s hear it for VW"s passive and active safety systems.)


I learned later on that web traffic investigators uncovered a fast deflation the the rear tire-they discovered a good-sized screw in it-and it to be this which caused it to peel off the wheel. The tire"s "bead" wasn"t broken; the in salt wasn"t bent.

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Granted, this can happen come anyone at any time, yet it was a reminder that perhaps we don"t take it as plenty of safety precautions as modern-day technology offers. Case in point: i hadn"t confirm the tires pressures before my long drive, perhaps the most basic preventative action any driver should take. Following time I"ll recognize better.


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