Performance Cars

Hot without the hatch: VW will reportedly debut the new Jetta GLI in Chicago

The new Jetta GLI will make its global debut in early February at the Chicago Auto Show.

This SEMA special is probably not terribly indicative of what the new GLI will look like, but man, think of the possibilities!

Volkswagen

We got some bummer news last week that Volkswagen's next generation of gasoline-powered engines would likely be its last, but that hasn't happened yet, and now we have a new Jetta GLI debut to look forward to at the Chicago Auto Show, according to a report published Monday by Autoblog.

For those among you who don't regularly worship at the altar of Volkswagen, the GLI trim level is to the Jetta what the GTI trim level is to the Golf. It's the fast, fun one for folks who can't abide a hatchback taking up residence in their garage. Historically speaking, the GLI has been very similar mechanically to the GTI, but in recent years that wasn't the case owing to the Jetta's much older platform architecture

Now that the Jetta is living its best life on the company's MQB architecture, it's game on. We liked the 2019 Jetta when we drove it earlier this year, but we lamented the fact that it wasn't exactly thrilling to cane around a windy road and that its engine, while fine for everyday use, was neither powerful or exciting. The GLI should change that.

The biggest news with the new GLI is that, according to Autoblog anyway, it will ditch the base model's cheap and unsophisticated torsion beam rear axle for a much more refined independent multilink setup. That should go a long way toward waking VW's little sedan up. The GTI's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine should go even further with its 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, particularly if you choose to pair it with the GTI's slick six-speed manual.

Obviously, we have no idea what this thing is going to cost or when it will be available to customers, but we'll likely have a better idea of that closer to the car's launch in February.