HomeNews and EventsVW Shows Off Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022

VW Shows Off Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022

Volkswagen, RacingLine and Rotiform concoct a potion


When you think of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), do you image American hot rods and everything needed to build one? SEMA certainly is all about that, but we’d be remiss in pointing out that foreigners are also part of the party. Volkswagen of America in particular has revealed the Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022.

Volkswagen’s Design Center California borrowed features from the Jetta’s past and amplified them “in a complete rework of the Jetta GLI Performance concept’s exterior and underpinnings” to produce a sedan with motorsport-inspired widebody styling. “The Jetta GLI concept was an opportunity for our team to draw from our passion for motorsports and create a vision that is even more expressive and exciting than the production vehicle already is,” says Reto Brun, Senior Director of the design center. “The wide body design gives this GLI concept the stance that every enthusiast dreams of and the graphic treatment underlines its more aggressive nature, while incorporating classic GLI elements.”

sema, VW Shows Off Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022, ClassicCars.com Journal

Starting with a Kings Red metallic 2022 Jetta GLI Autobahn with six-speed manual transmission, Volkswagen stylists widened the front and rear fenders by 0.8 inches and added flares, skirts and backside vents in the process. A unique front bumper features larger intakes from stock while, out back, a redesigned lower valence highlights dual exhaust extensions. A matte black vinyl wrap with hexagonal theme adds geometrical depth.

The next step was to add RacingLine’s IS38 performance package to Volkswagen’s EA888 Gen 3 engine. Originally known as Volkswagen Motorsport UK and formed with an eye on the British Rally Championship series, RacingLine is now part of the family as it is owned by Volkswagen Group AG. As such, the 2.0-liter turbo-four has been massaged via an R600 carbon fiber cold-air intake and performance intercooler, oil management kit and oil cooler with thermal management. An upgraded performance clutch package ensures the massage will not puke itself during banzai runs. Power output is a rich 350 horses with 372 lb-ft of torque, way up from the 228/258 output from the regular production engine.

sema, VW Shows Off Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022, ClassicCars.com Journal

Since the engine has been upgraded, Volkswagen would be remiss not to upgrade other parts of the vehicle. In this case, RacingLine’s TrackSport coil-over suspension kit was installed. The package includes a coil-over rear spring/damper, ‘thick stem’ inverted front damper,lightweight aluminum bodies, 2.4-inch linear springs with helpers, and fully-adjustable solid top mounts. Combined with RacingLine’s Stage 3+ six-piston forged caliper big brake kit (which includes 15-inch carbon ceramic discs), the blend should hit a sweet spot between road and track.

Also installed is RacingLine’s line of underbody braces to “increase body rigidity, reduce sub-frame deflection and maintain accurate suspension geometry.” The pièce de résistance are forged GRZ Monoblock 20-inch wheels with custom AeroDisc covers from Rotiform.

sema, VW Shows Off Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022, ClassicCars.com Journal

You should be able to take a gander at the Volkswagen Jetta GLI Performance concept at SEMA 2022 through November 4th.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


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