Releasing all the details late last night, Volkswagen officially revealed the new 2012 Jetta GLI today at the Chicago Auto Show. While the new 2011 Jetta was created with the U.S. market in mind, with a larger interior, less sophisticated suspension and lower base price, the 2012 GLI brings over from Europe all that Volkswagen is known for, including a proper independent rear suspension and, of course, VW’s 2.0T engine.
With 200-hp and an impressive 207 lb-ft of torque at 1700 rpm, VW has also included the XDS electronic limited slip differential that debuted on the 2010 GTI. It uses the factory stability control system to ad brake on the inside wheel in a corner to prevent tire slip and improve cornering and grip.
Paired with either a 6-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic, the GLI will also get an impressive 31-mpg highway (manual) or 32-mpg (automatic).
Considering all the content upgrades, it’s no surprise that the GLI does not follow VW’s new bargain pricing strategy. Instead, this car is stickered more traditionally, starting at $23,495 and jumping to $25,545 for the Autobahn model with 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, faux leather seats, dual-zone climate control and a high-end audio system. So equipped, it could easily be mistaken for a luxury car. An Autobahn Navigation model adds Nav, plus keyless access and a push-button ignition and starts at $26,445.