VW Shows Off 40th Anniversary Jetta GLI

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

vw shows off 40th anniversary jetta gli

Volkswagen has announced they will begin production of a limited 40th Anniversary Edition of the 2024 Jetta GLI, a trim that is promised to be made available exclusively in North America. 

Like the existing GLI Autobahn, this whip is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged mill delivering 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In other words, an entertaining figure but none higher than present offerings. Achtung, Wolfsburg! Surely you could have found a few more pferdestärke for this effort. Nevertheless, it also features some key performance features like an electronically controlled torque-sensing limited-slip diff and attendant diff lock, the DCC adaptive damping system, and a so-called sport exhaust.

As with most trims of this ilk, there are numerous styling differentiators that some would classify as a paint-n-wallpaper package. The car will be offered in a trio of colors – Pure Gray, Pure White, and Rising Blue – with blacked-out details contrasting with the GLI’s red trim. Its ten-spoke 18-inch wheels, grille, mirror caps, and spoiler have all been dipped in a pot of inky black paint. Heady stuff.

Looking in the cabin, details crop up in the form of those embossed cloth seats, said to be uniquely fabricated for this trim. VW claims the pattern will vary slightly in each of the vehicles produced, calling it a “one-of-a-kind fingerprint” but the cynics around here say it makes an easy out for manufacturing aberrations. Cupholders feature the GLI logo hammered in one and “1984” in the other, while seat tags and front door sills have their own embellishments. There is also a unique clip at the six o’clock position on the steering wheel in case you’ve forgotten what kind of car for which you’ve signed a six-year note.

The company doesn’t break out trim levels in its sales reports but does say they have shifted 16,224 Jettas so far this year. That’s roughly equal to the number of ID.4 electric vehicles which found new homes but well off the 27,995 Taos buyers and 38,728 people who put their hand up for a Tiguan. In total, VW has moved 144,787 vehicles so far this year, roughly flat compared to where they were 12 months ago.

In a nod to the first model year, a too-clever by half 1,984 units will be produced for America.

[Image: VW]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jul 25, 2023

    Most all my problems were the common ones that seem to have plagued many MK8 GTIs.

    Less than a month into owning it, after reading about the loose radiator problem on a few forums, I discovered that my GTI had a very loose radiator. I luckily found it before the hose got chewed up by the pulley, and I zip-tied the radiator in place. From what I read online it is my opinion that every 2022/23 GTI/Golf R/A3/S3 owner should zip tie their radiator to avoid the failure. The "recall" is ineffective.

    My rear-view camera was flaky (often wouldn't show an image). After it was replaced (under recall) it continued to be problematic.

    At around 11 months in they replaced the factory battery (under warranty).

    Carplay would quite often not connect to my phone (an 8, then a 14). The stereo would not connect to my wife's iPod by either bluetooth or wire.

    Sometimes the infotainment system would simply not boot up when I started the car. Since virtually all controls are in the infotainment I would have to shut off car, wait a few seconds, and then restart the car to hope to boot the infotainment.

    The travel assist function, intermittently, was unavailable. Seemed to happen less frequently after battery replacement, but then its incidence crept back up. At first it seemed related to humidity, but eventually it could happen in all conditions. Could happen at start up or mid-journey.

    On several occasions the brakes would automatically apply, at full strength, while backing up because the sensors had detected an obstacle when there was none present. (The second time this happened was the straw that broke the camel's back and led me to sell the car.) This is wildly jarring, and happens with no pre-warning, just beeping that began after the car had slammed to a stop.

    On the plus side, the GTI never left me stranded, and it was a joy to drive so far as speed, handling, steering, braking, and cabin comfort were concerned. I had intended to keep it for a long time, but I just figured I should get out while the getting was good. Took a bit of a haircut in the sale, but I have no regrets.

  • Cec65732998 Cec65732998 on Jul 26, 2023

    My local VW dealership is charging $5K OVER MSRP on every vehicle on the lot. '16 GTI replaced by '18 Sportwagen SEL replaced by a Lexus.

    Sorry VW, but your dealers are killing off loyal customers.

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.