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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

ILLUSTRATED: 2012 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLI

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ILLUSTRATED: 2012 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLI

By Andrew Ganz

Volkswagen's redesigned Jetta sedan is just about to hit dealer showrooms in the United States and Canada, but enthusiasts will have to wait until early next year for a high-performance model.

While many - including Leftlane - were a bit disgruntled to see the level of decontenting applied to the 2011 Jetta, the sport-oriented GLI model promises a fair amount of recontenting.

Taking its drivetrain from the Volkswagen GTI, the GLI will use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque. Mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG transmission, the Jetta GLI should hit 60 mph in just under six seconds regardless of gearbox. Look for the DSG to come with steering wheel-mounted paddles for sequential-style shifting.

Some of the biggest changes will come to the Jetta GLI's suspension, however. While lesser Jettas now make do with a simple twist-beam rear axle for 2011 (previously, all Jettas had a fully independent suspension), the GLI will gain a four-link independent rear suspension with an upgraded anti-roll bar. Jetta GLIs will also add upgraded four-wheel disc brakes; low-specification standard Jettas with the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engines come standard with rear drum brakes, although rear discs are available on higher specification models. Also look for the Jetta GLI to add 17x7-inch alloy wheels wrapped in H-rated high-performance tires.

Outside, the Jetta GLI will essentially take on the GTI's front fascia, while adding a slightly unique tail. In front, red styling touches link the GLI to its predecessors, while larger air intakes will help the engine and brakes breathe better. Out back, the GLI will have a specal rear diffuser and a small lip spoiler.

Inside, look for cloth-covered sports seats wrapped in VW's traditional tartan scheme. Leather will be optional. We've heard suggestions that Jetta GLIs will actually gain higher-quality plastics than standard Jettas; that Mexican-built Jettas bound for Europe receive some interior upgrades would lend credence to these rumors. Regardless, we fully expect the return of an "ESP OFF" switch for the stability control (standard Jettas lost the switch for 2011).

The GLI is only the second in several iterations of the sixth-generation (Mark VI) Jetta VW has planned; a hybrid is due later in 2011 as a 2012.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/volkswagen-jetta-gli.html

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