Volkswagen's new Jetta SportWagen, the North American-market version of the Golf Variant launched at the Geneva motor show last month, made its US debut this week at the New York Auto Show.

The US model line will be launched with an upgraded 2.5-litre, five cylinder engine that now produces 170 horsepower (this engine is also used in the US version of the Golf, called the Rabbit, and the Mexican-built Jetta sedan).

The 2.5 wagon reaches dealerships next August, and will be followed by versions with a 200hp turbocharged I4 engine. In early 2008 a new 'clean diesel' engine meeting strict new 50-state NOx emission laws will be introduced.

US-market standard features will include air conditioning, alarm, cruise control, CD player, traction control, anti-lock brakes, eight-way adjustable front seats and a height-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Standard safety features include driver and front passenger airbags and side thorax airbags, side curtain protection and rear-impact optimised front seat head restraints.

A panoramic sunroof with a 12.7 square foot opening panel will be optional.

The new car replaces a wagon version of the previous generation Jetta sold in the US, that combines the sedan nose with the VW wagon body used in most other markets.

In Germany, VW offered the wagon body style in both Golf and Jetta versions, with the different nose treatments and minor cabin and trim differences.

Over 1.2m units of the previous two model generations were sold since launch in 1993.

The latest European market Golf Variant has a cargo capacity of 690 litres with the back seat up and 1,550 litres with it down and is 4.56 metres long.

At launch, it will be available with a different range of engines to the US Jetta version: two petrol and two diesel units. The petrol motors are the 1.6-litre FSI 75kW/102HP and 103 kW/140 HP 1.4-litre TSI - the latter is the new VW motor with both turbo and super charger - and will come with a choice of six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearboxes.

The diesel engines are a 1.9-litre 77 kW/105 HP unit and a 103 kW/140HP two-litre.

New Golf wagon debut at Geneva

VW shows 'clean diesel' Jetta