Volkswagen Jetta GLI Celebrates 30 Years With Special Edition


Volkswagen's high-performance Jetta GLI has been around since 1984 when Volkswagen swapped go-fast goodies from its GTI cars into the Jetta body. To commemorate 30 years, Volkswagen is introducing an Edition 30 package on the 2014 GLI in early 2014.

Today's GLI features a 210-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 120 more ponies than the original's 90 hp. A sports suspension, 17- or 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, six-speed manual transmission and available six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission make up the remainder of the GLI's sports package. Sports seats and sports pedals decorate the interior.

Edition 30 bumps the content up slightly with mostly appearance add-ons like the "Laguna" 18-inch wheels, red trim on the front grille, rear spoiler and Edition 30 badging. The inside features leatherette seats with red accents, red contrast stitching throughout, carbon-fiber inlays and Edition 30 badges. Edition 30s will be available in four exterior colors: Deep Black Metallic, Pure White, Tornado Red and Reflex Silver Metallic.

The Edition 30 will be available in two packages, one with navigation and one without. Opting for the navigation package also adds keyless access with push-button start, a rearview camera, high-intensity discharge headlights and an adaptive front lighting system. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date, though regular GLIs currently start at $25,075 with an $820 destination charge and increase to $29,315 for a GLI Autobahn with navigation.

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I can't believe VW wants to commemorate their cars from 30 years ago. A co-worker had a new early 80s rabbit diesel, which he quickly got rid of. It was the slowest car ever, taking 30 seconds to get to 55 mph. I guess that's why they Turbo charge the new ones.


For those that are too young to understand, 1981 was the low-point of the post-fuel crisis era. A number of cars started to reverse the trend in 1982, 1983, and beyond. Volkswagen's GTI (and subsequent GLI) were absolutely game-changing with 90 hp and sub-10 second 0-60 times; this 'hot hatch' (or GLI sedan) was fast and still efficient! Volkswagen, more than any other brand, has remaining faithful to this segment. For those that are too young to have experienced muscle cars but old enough to know the compromised vehicles of the late-70's and early-80's, there is plenty of nostalgia for the GLI...


You are correct. I forgot that these VWs were pretty cool cars in the day because they had front wheel drive, which was pretty new to the mass market, yet they handled well...stuff we take for granted now.

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