• 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Before they all scattered after SEMA, we were able to get some personal time with Volkswagen's fleet of modified 2019 Jetta sedans at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. Have a closer look in this photo gallery.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • The Air Design USA Jetta SEL Inspired by Jetta and Golf accessories from the 1980s and 1990s. It has a body kit with retro graphics, Eibach Progressive Rate Lowering Springs and 19-inch TSW Hockenheim S wheels, a redesign of the 90s-era DTM-inspired Hockenheim wheel.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Air Design USA Jetta SEL
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • The H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line is lowered with H&R Street Performance Coilovers and Trak+ wheel spacers. It rides on 19 x 8.5-inch Rotiform BUC wheels with Pirelli P Zero rubber. An Air Design USA body kit, with high-rise rear spoiler and Sticky Jewel graphics round out the look.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • The Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept first debuted at Georgia's SoWo show. It features prototype aftermarket coilovers to lower it about 3 inches. The white paint scheme features stripes that VW says are inspired by the second-generation Jetta. Dashes of tennis ball green appear on the white wheels and the side mirrors that add a bit of pizzazz and complement the jagged green design on the black roof.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta R-Line SoCal Concept
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • The Jetta S by Jamie Orr is lowered with KW Clubsport coilovers with remote reservoirs and three-way adjustable damping. 20-inch Work Emotion T5R 2P wheels are shod in Delinte DS8 tires. The ECS Tuning body kit was 3D-printed. A Manual transmission and houndstooth seats are the icing.
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEMA Build
  • Jetta S by Jamie Orr
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
In spring 2018, we learned that the new-and-improved Volkswagen Jetta GLI would be arriving within the year, and now we have confirmation that VW is sticking to its word. The GLI, the performance-oriented variant of the Jetta, will debut in late winter 2019 at the Chicago Auto Show.

When it wasn't talking about its huge onslaught of incoming electric vehicles, Volkswagen had its attention throughout 2018 pointed on the launch of the 2019 Jetta, the start of the seventh generation of the compact family sedan. After debuting the Mark 7 Jetta at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the nameplate has popped up throughout the year for a variety of reasons. VW made a special Jetta for the the European Experience car show, it brought out numerous custom Jettas for SEMA (the H&R Special Springs R-Line is pictured), and it built a Bonneville Jetta intended for a speed record. It's no coincidence all of these builds try to brush off the economical character of the four-door and lean into its sporting side.

The buildup culminates with the upcoming launch of the Jetta GLI, which a VW representative confirmed will debut at the Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 9-18. The unveiling will take place in the press days before the show goes live.

From previous reporting, we believe the GLI will be properly hotted-up. Based on past conversations, VW has indicated the GLI will adopt a multi-link independent rear suspension, leaving the torsion-beam setup for the lower-trim Jettas. Under the hood will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill that we expect will be the same tuned engine found in the GTI, which has 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque with premium fuel. That should link to either a six-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

If VW is truly bringing GTI characteristics to the Jetta, then the GLI should offer a much more fun experience than can be found in the current lineup. We'll let you know official numbers and information as it comes in the next two months.

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