Volkswagen has unveiled its new Jetta GLI at the Chicago Auto Show, gifting the seventh-generation version of its sedan a handful of parts from the Golf GTI and Golf R.

The most substantial upgrade for the US-spec Jetta GLI is the adoption of the Wolfsburg-based firm’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which sends a GTI-flavoured 170 kW and 350 N.m to the front axle via a six-speed manual transmission (a seven-speed DSG is offered as an option). A limited-slip differential is also included.

Thanks to its sport suspension, the Jetta GLI sits some 15 mm lower to the ground than the standard model. Standard LED projector headlamps flank a black honeycomb grille with a red accent line, while brakes from the Golf R (complete with red-painted callipers) are framed by new 18-inch alloys.

At the rear, standard LED taillamps are joined by a new spoiler and model-specific rear bumper complete with finned diffusor and chrome dual exhaust tips.

Inside, you’ll find more red accenting – for instance, red stitching is used on the steering wheel, gear-shifter, armrest and floormats – while sport seats and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel ship standard.

Other standard features on the Jetta GLI include heated seats, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlamps, keyless entry (with push-button start), rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Of course, as CARmag.co.za reported late in 2017, the latest-generation Jetta – which moves over to the brand’s MQB platform – will not be offered in South Africa. The reason? Well, VW will not be producing the fresh version of the sedan in right-hand drive…