Spied: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

The performance model will be returning to showrooms.

Volkswagen is set to unveil an all-new Jetta at next year's Detroit auto show, but many questions still surround the fate of the performance-minded GLI model. However, a fresh round of spy shots suggest performance junkies shouldn't worry about losing access to the sporty GLI.

Though still covered in heavy camouflage, what you see here is believed to be the 2019 VW Jetta GLI. Leaked images have already outed the standard 2019 Jetta, but this is our first glimpse of the sportier Jetta GLI.

As with the current GLI, the next-generation model will be largely based on the standard Jetta, but should receive a number of performance upgrades. On the styling front, that should mean a more aggressive body kit and larger alloy wheels. This prototype is also sporting a dual exhaust setup.

The new Jetta GLI will ride on VW's MQB modular architecture. Powertrains for the GLI remain unknown at this time, but it's believed the sporty compact will use a version of the 2.0L turbocharged engine used in the Golf GTI. That should net the Jetta GLI 210-220 horsepower.

VW removed the current Jetta GLI's manual transmission option for the 2018 model year, and it's possible the auto giant could continue that auto-only stance going into 2019. However, there's still a sliver of hope that VW will reintroduce the manual for the new model year.

Look for the Jetta GLI to debut alongside the standard Jetta at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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