VW sent a Jetta TDI Cup Edition to this year's Midwest Automotive Media Association's Spring Collection at Road America. Nestled in Wisconsin's scenic kettle moraine, the storied RA is an ideal place to put the pedal to the metal and test the shapely mettle of sports-oriented automobiles.
The $25,000 six-speed manual transmission Jetta apes the track-oriented TDI Cup racing series cars. Nonetheless, it's an unlikely track-meat candidate. With only 140 hp on tap, the sport-tuned sedan requires an entrepreneurial driver. You use momentum rather than brute force in order to achieve quick laps. This isn't bad. It lets you experience a well balanced front-drive chassis that's no paddock wallflower.
Charge from the starting line you'll discover that the rev limiter cuts forward momentum at approximately 5,000 rpm. Unlike a turbocharged gas engine VW, you must upshift early. Engine noise is subdued. Therefore, you don't have that next-gear please reminder.
Once you've learned how it goes, you'll enjoy supportive seats, decent brakes and easy shifting. Handling precision turns this high-mpg potentate for moving family freight into a surprisingly willing motoring partner whether on the racetrack or autocross circuit.