Punk [puhngk] noun
3. a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans.
Ask the average man on the street about which current VW represents the punk movement, and the likely response is the current GTI. He would be wrong. Meet the Jetta TDI Cup Edition. The punk attitude challenges accepted norms, and the TDI Cup Edition encapsulates the very essence of the punk spirit, with the challenge that a a diesel powered four door sedan can also be entertaining to drive. The question here, did VW manage to pull it off? Read on.
You’re forgiven if you haven’t heard what the TDI Cup Series is. In 2008, VW established the TDI Cup. Sanctioned by the SCCA, the TDI Cup is a single make race series run in North America, running VW Jetta TDIs that are mostly stock, and are prepared by the factory. With the current Jetta at the end of its production run, VW decided to build a street car that emulated the factory race car.
With the Cup Edition, VW starts with a Jetta TDI and adds a body kit that features the front bumper, side skirts and rear valance straight off the race car. The Cup Edition is also visually unique with its 18Ã¢â‚¬Â³ Charleston wheels, and red brake calipers.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The changes arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just cosmetic. The Cup Edition features bigger brakes, sway bars, and a GLI-tuned suspension that promise a sportier ride than the standard TDI.
Inside, the Jetta is blessed with excellent fit and finish, and the quality materials we’ve come to expect from modern VW’s. The Cup Edition gets a multi-function steering wheel, and glorious plaid sport seats. recalling the Mark I GTI’s of the early 1980’s. Otherwise, the Jetta’s cabin is roomy and comfortable, but I find the HVAC icons too small to read.
The drivetrain is stock Jetta TDI, which means a 2.0L four cylinder diesel, rated at 140hp, with a healthy 236 lbs-ft of torque. With the TDI Cup Edition, buyers have a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission. Our test car was equipped with the DSG, which took advantage of the TDI’s ample low-end torque. This is not a fast car by any means, but take off from a stop is impressive. And if you still hold the prehistoric notion that a diesel engine is a noisy, smokey clattering oil burner, send yourself straight to your local VW dealer. The Jetta TDI is so smooth and quiet, a friend of mine who owns a diesel Chevy Suburban was so stunned he had to call Ã‚Â a friend on his cell phone so he could hear how quiet the Jetta’s engine was.
The thrill of the TDI Cup Edition is the sporty suspension-the ride is firm, but never punishing. The TDI Cup is willing to play along with a romp in the twisties, and the low-end torque of the diesel makes exiting slow corners, then accelerating hard a joy. No one will ever mistake the TDI Cup for a sports car, but the beefed up suspension definitely adds serious entertainment value.
The Jetta TDI Cup Edition starts at $24,990USD. Our test car included the DSG transmission, sunroof, along with a couple other extras for a total of $31,113 as delivered. Not inexpensive, but the TDI Cup Edition is a head turner, and one gas attendant told me it was the hottest diesel car he had ever seen. In that respect, he confirmed that the TDI Cup Edition is the punk in the VW line of cars. You see it, and you are shocked to learn a diesel lies under the hood. You drive it, and you are shocked a diesel could be that much fun to drive. Kudos to VW for letting the public have a taste of its punky diesel race car.