1998 Volkswagen Bora | Volkswagen Cars
Volkswagen Cars: 1998 Volkswagen Bora

1998 Volkswagen Bora

Volkswagen Bora (1998—2005)

Known as the Bora in Europe and Latin America, the fourth generation Jetta debuted in late 1998 after its larger sibling, the Passat, with which it shared many styling cues. The rounded shape and arched roofline serve as the new Volkswagen styling trademark, abandoning traditional sharp creases for curved corners. The A4 came in four different trim levels (GL, GLS, GLX, and GLI), and was also offered as a wagon. In some European markets, the station wagon version was marketed as a Golf ("Estate" in the UK and Ireland, "Break" in France, "Variant" in some areas) and had a Golf grille, headlights, bumper, and fenders.

The GL was the base model, powered by a slightly revised 2.0 L 8-valve four cylinder engine based on the previous models, an optional 1.9 L TDI diesel engine, and from 2001 on, by the turbocharged 1.8 L engine (Wolfsburg Edition). By 2002, Volkswagen had eliminated many of the original production issues with the original design, and later model year A4 Jettas are generally more desirable on the secondhand market. 2003 saw the re-release of the Wolfsburg edition featuring the updated turbocharged 1.8 L engine, now with 180hp. 2003 was also the last year in North America for the 1.9L 'ALH' TDI turbodiesel engine design, and its reputation for reliability and versatility (many owners use biodiesel and/or vegetable oil fuels) have resulted in high resale prices for cars with this engine. The earlier models, however, has many known recalls and bugs, with many owners reporting electric or lighting malfunctions.

The GLS was a step up, with options for leather seats and a sport package which included 17" alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension. This line offered all engine choices until 2003, when the VR6 choice was dropped. The GLX was the luxury model, with leather seats, wood grain trim, automatic climate control (Climatronic), rain-sensing windshield wipers, and other amenities. In 2003, the VR6 engine moved to a drive-by-wire 24-valve design rated at 200 hp (150 kW). It was available in the GLX and the new-for-2003 GLI model. The GLI offered sport suspension, six-speed manual transmission, and the 200 hp (150 kW) VR6. In 2004, the GLX model was dropped.

In 2004, Volkswagen revised their Jetta GLI offering. It offered a 180 hp 1.8 L inline-4, linked to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car received a stiffer and lower suspension (Eibach springs 20% stiffer than stock, 21 mm front sway bar, 23 mm rear sway bar, gas Monroe shocks, and upgraded rear bushings resulting in a 30 mm drop in the ride height), body kit (consisting of a front valance, sideskirts, and a rear valance), larger brakes (12.3" vented discs in front, 10" vented in rear),headlights with black outer portions and smoked taillights (R/SCC/R/SCC), and 18" (457 mm) BBS RC wheels equipped with low profile 40 series high-performance summer tires (Goodyear Eagle F1 DS-G3). VW also installed a stainless steel exhaust with a single chrome tip 2.25" in diameter. ESP (Electronic Stability Program) was the only option available, and the majority of GLIs were produced with it. The GLI was available in Black Magic Pearl, Platinum Gray, Tornado Red, and Blue Lagoon. The interior was black with aluminum trim, including black upholstered Recaro bucket seats with red "GLI" lettering embroidered on the backrest, a black headliner with associated black trim, half-height FIS gauge cluster, leather wrapped three spoke steering wheel, sunroof, Aluminum pedals (similar to Audi TT / Beetle Turbo S pedals), and a 200 watt Monsoon 8-speaker stereo system with in-dash CD player and tape deck. The car could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 146 mph. In 2005, Volkswagen offered the GLI with a five-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic.

Also in 2004, a new 'PD' version of the 1.9L TDI diesel engine was offered, a 1.9 L TDI unit producing 74 kW (100 hp DIN) and 177 ft·lbf (250 N·m) of torque. This new engine employed pump-equipped unit injectors and additional electronics and emissions equipment to meet new diesel emissions standards in North America, and is considerably more complex than the older ALH engine previously offered.

Commencing with the 2002 1/2 model year, all Jettas equipped with 1.8T engines, regardless of trim level, produced 180 hp ("AWP" engine code). This was a 30 hp improvement over the previous 150 hp 1.8T and was accomplished with a slightly larger turbocharger (K03S instead of K03) and a slight change to the engine mapping. The engine block was not changed.

A high performance version of the A4 Bora was sold in several countries, and had 4-Motion all wheel drive and a VR6 engine. 2.3 L VR5 and 1.6 L I4 engines were also available in Europe.