The next-generation Volkswagen Jetta sedan has been previewed via a sketch ahead of its debut next year.

The sketch was first published by Motor1 after being revealed at a recent press event by Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer of Volkswagen's North American arm.

Above and below: Undisguised Jetta prototype at Volkswagen's factory in Pueblo, Mexico.

Thanks to this lightly stylised sketch of the new car's side profile, we can now confirm with almost 100 per cent certainty the leaked photos published back in August were indeed of the next-generation Jetta.

Under the skin, the Jetta will finally move onto the Volkswagen Group's now ubiquitous MQB component matrix for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles.

In the US, the base model will reportedly feature a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

From their drive of a pre-production prototype, Autoblog revealed the new sedan will feature a cost-saving torsion-beam rear axle suspension setup.

This, according to Erb, was done due the company's use of turbocharged engines, which puts the Jetta at a cost disadvantage to some of its North American competitors.

For example, the Toyota Corolla only uses naturally-aspirated motors, and entry-level variants of the Honda Civic also do without turbocharging.

Australia

Although not yet announced, the new Jetta is expected to be unveiled at the 2018 Detroit motor show in January.

Don't expect to see the new small sedan in Australia, however. Speaking with CarAdvice, a Volkswagen Australia representative confirmed that the 2018 Jetta is set to be offered in left-hand drive only.