VW Jetta GLI Celebrates 40 Years with Limited-Run Anniversary Edition

The hotter Jetta has been around nearly as long as the GTI hatchback

Can you guess how many of these VW’s going to build? The hint’s in plain sight.

If you’ve been keeping score of Volkswagen’s hotter models, then you’ll know the Jetta GLI sedan is just now celebrating four decades since its initial 1984 introduction. To celebrate, Wolfsburg plans to sell a limited run of GLI 40th Anniversary Edition models that bring some special touches for discerning enthusiasts.

As a nod to that heritage, you probably already guessed how many 40th Anniversary Edition GLIs will see the light of day: 1,984 examples.

Opt for the 2024 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 40th Anniversary Edition, and you’ll get a few exterior touches to set it apart from the standard models. That includes gloss black wheels, spoiler and mirror caps as well as “GLI 40” badging on the fenders. Inside, the car gets a “40” emblem on the steering wheel, “GLI 40” on the seat tags and door sills and even “GLI 1984” scripting in the cupholders.

Like the standard Jetta GLI, you still get black seats with red contrast accents throughout.

The 40th Anniversary sees no performance changes

Under the hood, this limited-run GLI still gets the usual EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. That manages 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque in this application. VW shows off this specific car with the 7-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmission, though the automaker did not clarify whether the 6-speed manual will be an option here as well (we’ll update this post when we get a thumbs up or down on that one).

All the anniversary model’s other upgrades mirror that of the normal Jetta GLI. You get larger brakes, a performance monitor through the infotainment system, an electronically-controlled torque-sending limited-slip differential at the front and VW’s Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive suspension setup.

The 2024 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 40th Anniversary will be out in the coming weeks

Interestingly, it seems VW split the difference on feature content with this limited model between the former base GLI, the S, and the higher-specced Autobahn. While this does get 18-inch wheels, the XDS electronic differential lock for the front end and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, the 40th Anniversary still gets cloth seats. The company also made no mention of the BeatsAudio sound system, and it appears this car doesn’t have the appropriate branding on the tweeters to suggest it would have that higher-end option.

Despite the 2024 Volkswagen Jetta GLI losing the S trim for the upcoming model year, the 40th Anniversary slides in with similar (lower) pricing. Each of the 1,984 units carries a $29,180 price tag including $1,095 destination. By contrast, the GLI Autobahn starts at $32,680.

Volkswagen says the 40th Anniversary cars will arrive later this summer, so expect to see them arrive in the coming weeks.