1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V Wolfsburg Edition

Celebrating Volkswagen’s addition of the DOHC 16V ‘PL’ to the GLI in 1987, and perhaps to in part justify its heady $14,000 MSRP, the company heavily upgraded the model over the standard Jetta. To match the additional power, Volkswagen offered many upgrades over the standard 8 valve GLI in 1987, the only year they were offered together in the U.S. market. A deeper front lip spoiler with brake ducting and rear spoiler added boy-racer looks. Though the wheels remained 14″ x 6″, the new “Silverstone” design you know as “Teardrops” looked cooler than the bottle-cap inspired design on the 8V. A swept-back Fuba roof-mounted antenna continued the speed theme and became the signature Volkswagen look for some time. Inside 16V badges on the dash and a higher red line prepared you for the thrill ride while heavily bolstered half-cloth, half-leatherette Recaro Trophy seats hugged you.

But in 1989, Volkswagen kicked it up another notch with a special edition of the GLI. Part of the group of six special ‘Wolfsburg Edition’ models for the year, the highlight was definitely the Jetta. Outside they were painted LA5Y Helios Blue Metallic – a color borrowed from the much more expensive Audi Quattro. They also featured color-matched BBS RAs in 15″ x 6″. The mirrors were color-matched too. Inside the Recaro seats received special diagonally-striped cloth, while the luxury quotient was upped as well with power windows, locks and mirrors, a sunroof, air conditioning, and stereo with 6 speakers and cassette all standard. This took the Jetta GLI’s price up over $17,000. Although the next model year adopted some of these upgrades as standard, the special-toned and limited edition ’89s known simply as ‘Helios’ have always had a cult following:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V Wolfsburg Edition on eBay

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1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V Helios Edition

If yesterday’s 1987 Jetta GLi didn’t spark your interest, perhaps one of the most sought-after GLis made will. The 1989-only “Helios Edition” Jetta GLi took the already good economy sports sedan from Volkswagen and followed the “more is better” rule, adding better BBS RA color-coded wheels and awesomely striped and hugely supportive Recaro seats. It was the prototype for what would become the standard GLi in 1990, but this car was decidedly the best GLi we had seen to that point. Only 1500 were made and they infrequently come up for sale, so while today’s isn’t in as good of shape as the 1987 from yesterday, it’s still a bit of an event to see one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V Helios Edition on eBay

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