VW Brings Jetta GLI Performance Concept to SEMA

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
vw brings jetta gli performance concept to sema

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has long been the middle ground in performance for people who wanted a Golf GTI but needed sedan legroom. At this year’s SEMA Show, however, VW is giving the car its due with a motorsport-inspired concept car. Given its stated goal of going electric, it's unlikely we'll ever see this car in production, but it would be a great day for enthusiasts if it did.

Though it’s based on a 2022 Jetta, the GLI Performance Concept is brawnier than the standard car in almost every way. It got a RacingLine turbo performance package, a carbon fiber cold air intake, and a beefed-up intercooler. Those upgrades push the turbocharged 2.0-liter EA88 engine’s output to 350 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque. The factory six-speed manual and front-wheel drive setup remain in place, but VW fitted a performance clutch to handle the extra power. 

Stopping and turning are just as important as power and acceleration, and Volkswagen says the concept’s suspension is capable of delivering a thrilling track experience while maintaining a comfortable ride on the street. The car got a RacingLine Stage3+ six-piston forged caliper big brake kit that brings 15-inch carbon ceramic discs. Adjustable coilovers help keep the concept stable on the track, and Rotiform provided a set of custom 20-inch wheels for the project. 

[Images: Volkswagen]

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3 of 9 comments
  • Doug Dye Doug Dye on Nov 02, 2022

    I wish VW would return to their days of lower cost German performance. I have owned many Sciroccos, Corrodes, GTis, and GLis in the past. I switched to BMW's when the company focused more on SUVs. Love BMW's, but they cost much more to maintain!

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 02, 2022

      By contemporary standards, VW performance cars are actually quite affordable - the O.G. GTI from the '80s would go for 26 grand today, and it offered a fraction of the current model's performance.

  • Joe Joe on Nov 02, 2022

    Seriously what’s the point? Not gonna build it. Not particularly appealing. Former superstar nameplate, that’s meh and low demand now.

  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Diamonds are not really rare DeBeers dominates the diamond market and created the market with advertising starting in the 1930s thru the 40s. Before that time diamonds were for the most part considered for the wealthy and diamond wedding rings were not that common. Go back 100 years and most women wore wedding bands made of gold, silver, or other metals. DeBeers dominating the diamond market also controls the supply of diamonds keeping the prices higher by restricting supply. Sound familiar? Oil companies have learned to restrict supply of oil as well.https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/diamond-de-beers-marketing-campaign
  • Statikboy So they named it after the worst cracker."Perhaps that’s why the autonomous dream appeals to so many - they’ve never experienced satisfaction, or even fun, whilst operating a motorcar.""This 2022 Mazda CX-30 Turbo, for example, can certainly handle the drudgery of the daily commute with aplomb but can make a detour on a twisty two-lane a bit more enjoyable."While the autonomous dream doesn't appeal to me at all, I think the reason that it does appeal to so many is because it theoretically has the potential to make the drudgery of the daily commute a bit more enjoyable.
  • Jeff S Arthur and I might be in the minority but we miss cars like this. We will never see cars like this again and it is what it is. I did like driving my mothers 72 Sedan Deville and her 84 Chrysler 5th Avenue with leather interior and Boise Dolby stereo along with some of the other luxury cars I drove from this era. At least I got to experience them and if I want more I can always read Corey's well written articles and watch Adam on Rare Classic Cars.
  • ToolGuy "Idle," or "Shutter"? Let's don't get completely lazy.
  • Jeff S Might not matter during car shortages. I have a Costco and Sam's membership which I thought about using for buying a vehicle but when the Maverick order banks opened up in June 2021 I went online to built my own Maverick and still had to go to the dealer to order it. With vehicle shortages you might still have to go to the dealer to order but it might be worth it to try to use Costco if you know what you want and are not too picky about colors and options to see what is available now especially if you don't want to wait for a vehicle. I doubt in today's environment that you would save a lot on the purchase of a new vehicle especially since many dealers are adding adjustments to market prices on top of msrp.