In 1984, Volkswagen introduced the first Jetta GLI to the U.S. market, setting the blueprint for all subsequent versions of this beloved sport sedan. The first GLI essentially wrapped a GTI’s running gear in Jetta sheetmetal—same 90-horsepower fuel-injected 1.8-liter engine, close-ratio five-speed transmission, sport suspension with front and rear anti-roll bars, and vented front disc brakes. Externally, the car sported GLI badging, a tail spoiler, and bodyside moldings, while the interior was upgraded with a leather-wrapped four-spoke steering wheel and shift knob, three additional gauges in the center console, sport seats, and distinctive upholstery and interior trim.
That recipe still holds true today. Compared with a Jetta 1.8T, the GLI features a more powerful 2.0-liter TSI engine, a close-ratio six-speed manual or DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, a sport suspension, bigger wheels and tires, upgraded brakes, more aggressive body styling, and an interior that features sport seats and pedals.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first GLI, Volkswagen will sell the car only as an Edition 30 in two trim levels, starting in early 2014: the Edition 30 and the Edition 30 with Navigation. Compared with the current 2014 Jetta GLI, the GLI Edition 30 is distinguished externally by 18-inch “Laguna” aluminum-alloy wheels, red trim on the front grille, a trunklid-mounted spoiler, and Edition 30 badging. The Edition 30 with Navigation also has red trim inside the Bi-Xenon headlights.
Inside, the Edition 30 benefits from contrasting color V-Tex leatherette seats with red accents; red contrast stitching on the steering wheel, shifter, brake lever, and armrests; carbon-look trim inlays; Edition 30 kickplates; and floormats with red stitching. The car will be available in four colors: Deep Black Metallic, Pure White, Tornado Red, and Reflex Silver Metallic.
The Edition 30 is extremely well equipped, with standard features such as front foglights; LED taillights; leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, brake handle, and shift knob; Premium VIII touchscreen radio with SiriusXM Satellite Radio; and Bluetooth connectivity. The Edition 30 with Navigation adds: Keyless access with push-button start; the RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system; a rearview camera; LED daytime running lights; and Bi-Xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System. Pricing will be announced closer to market launch.