The Mk2 Jetta in China (1992-2012)

HA certified Chinese Classic

While production stopped in 1991 worldwide, the Mk2 Jetta was built from 1992 to 2012 in China via the FAW-VW cross venture. Nearly two million models were built over a thirty year period, going through three China-only facelifts in 1998, 2004 and 2010. The Mk2 Jetta and B2 Santana built VW's reputation in China as a producer of dependable, well-engineered and long lasting cars.


The Origins of FAW-VW

As the name implies, FAW - First Automotive Works, is China's earliest automobile factory. Following the success of the Shanghai-VW cross venture, a deal was struck between VW and FAW to commence the production of the Mk2 Jetta in the FAW factory at Chungchun, Jilin province. The production line was initially adapted from the equipment leftover from the Westmoreland plant in US, but was continually updated to improve production quality and efficiency. Similar to Shanghai-VW, the Mk2 Jetta achieved widespread market success in China, and FAW-VW grew to become one of China's biggest car companies.


The first FAW Mk2 Jetta was produced in December 1991. 


Technical Specifications

For the Chinese market, many variations of the Mk2 Jetta was developed over three decades of production.

Originally only available with a 1.6 8V carbureted engine, Fuel injection soon became standard from 1998 on in the FAW Mk2 Jetta, and Bosch electronic fuel injection was added in the 2000s, along with ABS with electronic brake distribution. In 1997, the first major facelift of the Mk2 came in the form of the Jetta King. A high performance 20V NA 1.6 engine was also introduced to both the Jetta King and the regular Jetta (GT trim level). A 1.9 SDI naturally aspirated diesel engine was available during the 2000s - this model is famed among taxi drivers for being astoundingly reliable and fuel efficient.

A four speed manual gearbox came as standard at the start of production, updated to five speed in the 1996. An automatic gearbox option was introduced in 1998 with the introduction of the Jetta King.

VW's Own OEM+: Jetta King & 20V Twin Cam

In order to modernize the Mk2 platform, FAW-VW worked closely with VW Headquarters to develop the Jetta King. Modeled after the exterior styling of the B4 Passat, a new frontend, bumpers, trunklid and taillights were developed.

The biggest update came with the 20V Twin Cam 1.6. FAW-VW took the five valve per cylinder EA113 from the Mk4 Golf, and dropped it in the Mk2 Chassis. This is the only OEM 20V Mk2 ever made by VW. This engine was available in the Jetta King GTX and Jetta GT. The GT was the non-facelift big bumper Mk2 with the 20V.

A small update followed in 2000, where many details were updated. The main changes were the Corrado dashboard that replaced the old square dash, and Mk4 style modern door handles. These changes were carried over to all future facelifts of the Mk2. OEM plus indeed.


Two other major facelifts followed, until the final Jetta Mk2 was built in 2012.

The 600,000KM Record

In 1996, Mr Su Yaohong, a cab driver from Zhuhai, Guangdong set the record for having driven his FAW-VW Mk2 Jetta taxi over 600,000 kilometers without an engine rebuild. 

The car was inspected and the mileage confirmed by FAW-Volkswagen, as well as experts from the Chinese Bureau of Automotive Safety. A brand new Jetta was presented to Mr Su as a gift to honor his achievement.

This record was widely reported by Chinese news, and made the durability of the Jetta well known throughout China. All versions of the Mk2 Jetta were widely used as fleet vehicles in China - taxis, police cars, driving school vehicles... the mighty Mk2 did it all.

The FAW Jetta's Racing History

In 1998, the FAW-VW rally team was formed and the Jetta King GTX 20V Twin Cam was prepped and entered into the Hong Kong-Beijing rally. It was the first ever Chinese production car to enter into an international rally event.

Ever since then, the Mk2 Jetta has been a legend in the minds of Chinese motorsport enthusiasts. Light, agile, great aftermarket support and reliability made them common sights in grassroots motorsport events all over China.

The Mk2 Scene in China

For years, the Mk2 VW scene has been alive and well in China! The Mk2 has long been a staple of the Chinese modified car scene.

We work with several reputable Mk2 Jetta specialists to restore and modify our cars. Their familiarity with the Mk2 Volkswagen platform is incredibly valuable, and we have a large stock of New Old Stock and OEM quality Volkswagen Mk2 parts with which to supply them with.

Shop Mk2, Mk4 and B2 Volkswagen parts on our store here. If you can't find what you're looking for, send us an email at We have the parts in our inventory to build a new Mk2 from the ground up. 

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