At the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Volkswagen booth sprawled out wide in the North Hall with nine different concept vehicles from EVs to SUVs. None were as special as the one under the cover until its moment of unveil, the Jetta GLI Performance Concept.

Creating the ultimate Jetta GLI performance sedan was the creation of Volkswagen’s Design Center California who baked up a wide-body street car with race track capability based around styling touches and design bones long in GLI’s rich history.

Starting with a 2022 Jetta GLI Autobahn model the team revamped the bodywork with wider front and rear fenders, nearly an inch more buff on each side – both with air extracting aft vents. The wider muscles are tied together at the bottom edge with beautifully integrated side skirts. Someone needs to make this package available on the market – I like it.

Add these to a new front and rear fascias with larger air intakes and openings for a mean ass looking dual exhaust that makes its statement without being over the top. All accomplished in taste without a massive rear wing too!

The look is planted down and sealed up with a set of expensive looking Rotiform Forged “GRZ” Monoblock 20-inch wheels with bespoke AERODISC covers. The whole package is visually complete with a hexagon-themed matte black wrap over its Kings Red Metallic paint.

The cockpit wasn’t forgotten about, rather the outside visuals were brought inside. A set of Recaro Pole Position ABE seats were custom upholstered to match its exterior treatment with more of the hexagon theme in bright red. Nice.

But what about power? Yeah it has that too. The modified 2.0-liter turbocharged four now cranks out some 350 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque. This comes by way of a RacingLine IS38 performance package.

There’s an R600 carbon fiber cold-air intake and an upgraded intercooler along with a heavy duty oil cooler. An upgraded clutch is added for its six-speed manual transmission, though all of this power however still only makes it only to the front wheels.

Helping make that ok is a completely modified suspension by way of RacingLine. The TrackSport coil-overs at the rear and “thick stem” inverted front damper at the front along with upgraded hardware and adjustable mounts all play into keeping that power under control.

Stopping it all are bigger brakes of course, a RacingLine Stage 3+ six-piston forged caliper big brake kit with 15.0-in diameter carbon-ceramic discs. Woof.

Well done Volkswagen. As with all concept cars the question always asks, will we see one in the showroom. Not likely, but it’s fun to dream of a more doable Golf R-i-fied Jetta sedan. Isn’t it?




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