Jetta GLI Spied Testing at the Nurburgring

Sebastien Bell
by Sebastien Bell

Volkswagen is set to reveal the Jetta GLI at the Chicago Auto Show in February and we now have photos of the car at Germany’s favorite test track, the Nurburgring.

The photos show an only slightly less camouflaged GLI, but there are few new details that can still be gleaned. First and foremost, the front grille appears to have GTI-style strakes in the lower corner, under the headlights.

Around back, meanwhile, it has a subtle, but attractive spoiler for high-speed stability. That’ll be important at the Nurburgring, which the GLI could have presumably easily skipped since the car won’t be sold in Europe.

The look is rounded off by a set of red brake calipers and un-adorned tailpipes—unlike the regular Jetta, the GLI pictured here doesn’t have molding to visually work its tailpipes into the rear bumper.

Whether these last two features will make it to production isn’t exactly clear, but they would both fit nicely into the GLI’s performance schtick.

Under the skin, reports suggest that VW will eschew the normal Jetta’s torsion bar rear suspension for a more performance-focused multi-link unit. Along with the MQB platform’s other upgrades, that should make this more a track weapon than the outgoing GLI.

It should be faster in a straight line, too. The GLI gets the VW I4’s full 2.0-liters of displacement and while no numbers have been shared, it should be more than the last generation’s 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

We also fully expect a six-speed manual version of the GLI to be offered alongside a seven-speed DCT (replacing last men’s 6-speed DCT).

Reports indicate that the GLI will be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in early February.

A version of this story first appeared on

Sebastien Bell
Sebastien Bell

Sebastien is a roving reporter who covers Euros, domestics, and all things enthusiast. He has been writing about the automotive industry for four years and obsessed with it his whole life. He studied English at the Wilfrid Laurier University. Sebastien also edits for AutoGuide's sister sites VW Vortex, Fourtitude, Swedespeed, GM Inside News, All Ford Mustangs, and more.

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