2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery Station attendant: "You sure you wanna put diesel in that?" Me: "Yeah." Attendant: "It doesn't look like a diesel." Me: "That's kinda the point." And so it goes. That wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last that we got quizzical looks when grabbing a plastic glove and topping up the 14.5-gallon tank on our Salsa Red 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition tester. After all, when you think diesel, a body-kitted sports sedan doesn't spring to mind. Particularly in the U.S., where (Cliche Alert!) old-school oilburners conjure the soot-covered nostalgia of smoke-belching Benzes, dirty shoes, smelly hands and searching for the appropriate pump at truck stops. But in the 21st century – and throughout Europe for the last several decades – the modern diesel is a mainstay. Nearly half of all new cars sold across the pond swill ultra-low sulfur diesel, and after years of being hamstrung by California bureaucrats and the Feds, the high-mileage misers have finally returned to our shores. But can a diesel really be sporty? Volkswagen obviously thinks so, and after fielding "numerous inquiries" about offering a replica of its TDI Cup cars for the road, V-Dub has begun offering a kitted-out version of its diesel-powered Jetta to the fraction (of a fraction) of enthusiasts who want a more entertaining way to burn through a tank of ULSD. So the Cup Edition certainly looks the part, but how's it get on? Let's find out. %Gallery-94747% Photos by Damon Lavrinc / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc. After years of slogging through the SEMA Show, we've become justifiably jaded when it comes to various models' body mods – and that doesn't even cover the cars (*badum-ting*). So when the TDI Cup concept debuted way back in 2008, it barely registered on our radar. In the annals of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the side skirts, rear valance and redesigned front bumper with its comically massive air dam weren't extreme enough to stand out. But off the show floor and on the pavement, it's a different story for this oil-powered sports sedan costing $31,113 as tested (a far cry from its $24,990 base price). Although the front fascia packs more mesh than a New Orleans Gentlemen's Club, take solace in the fact that this is the same body kit fitted to the TDI competition cars. It's got racing lineage, even if it's a decidedly less glamorous pedigree than some alt-powered rocket from Audi or Peugeot, at least it's more direct. The remainder of the model's modifications are pulled from the VW performance parts bin and include the sway bars and stiffened suspension from the last Jetta GLI. The red-painted calipers are also carryovers, and they grip larger brakes (12.28-inches up front and 11.26-inches in the rear), framed by 18-inch, 10-spoke "Charleston" wheels. The hoops are right off the show car, but unfortunately the Yokohama 225/40R18 ADVAN sport tires have been swapped in favor …
Hide Full Review
Smart Buy Price
|MPG||City / Hwy|
Get a surprisingly great rate
It's like a new car for the price of a clunker. Switch & save an average of $587* on car insurance.