Thinly-Disguised 2020 VW Jetta GLI Spotted Near The Nürburgring

You won’t find many automakers testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife at this time of year because repair works are currently being done at the track.

However, that doesn’t seem to stop Volkswagen from continuing its testing program for the 2020 Jetta GLI, the performance version of its compact sedan. Expected to debut in February 2019 at the Chicago Auto Show, the Jetta GLI was spotted near Volkswagen’s technical center at the Nürburgring.

Only the car’s front and rear ends are covered with camouflage foil, which is surprisingly revealing. The sports sedan clearly features a sharper body kit than the standard model, adopting Golf GTI-inspired bumpers, pointier side sills, unique alloy-wheels (probably 18 inches as standard, 19 inches as optional), and red brake calipers.

A Golf GTI with a different name and body style

The front fascia looks more aggressive than on the regular Jetta, getting a sporty honeycomb mesh treatment for the grille and lower air intake. The bumper also features subtle strakes on each side that are clearly a GTI cue, as well as an extension at the lower end for a sportier look. Expect the grille to also feature a red trim strip just like the Golf GTI.

At the rear, the 2020 Jetta GLI features a redesigned bumper as well, which incorporates a diffuser flanked by two round exhaust tips. The bumper is also deeper, with the lower side sills continuing around the rear for a more planted stance. Inside, the changes should be more subtle and consist of sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy pedals, and possibly revised trim and upholstery.

As for the hardware, the Jetta GLI will source the powertrain and brakes from the facelifted Golf GTI. Expect a 220 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, although a limited-slip differential should be on the menu as well.

The GLI will also get a multi-link rear suspension instead of the standard Jetta’s torsion-beam setup for better dynamics.

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • If I wanted a GTI i’d buy a GTI.

    • Bash

      Excellent comment.

  • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

    will it be sold in Europe?

    • Mr_Fanta_Pants


  • Aaron Schmitz

    Why only 220hp? Ugh, this is probably the last Jetta, why not step it up a notch?

    • performante

      VAG is notorious for underrating their vehicles. GTI’s with the same engine have put down 260+ hp to the wheels on a dyno.

  • mailbox5

    Probably the main exterior change from the standard Jetta is that the GLI is lowered at least an inch. It’s obvious to me since I have a ’19 Jetta R-Line.

  • Merc1

    What about a Jetta R with like 325hp?


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