Among water-cooled Volkswagen aficionados, the Mark 5 2004 Jetta GLI in a color called Blue Lagoon has become a unicorn. With this in mind, for 2021 Volkswagen rolled out a Jetta GLI concept car that reprises its sought-after predecessor.
Volkswagen limited the GTI 1337, a special edition made two years prior to the Blue Lagoon GLI, to just 1,500 examples. However, the GLI, a sedan with a body kit, BBS wheels, and Recaro seats just like the 1337, wasn’t designated as a special edition, and consequently, no record exists as to how many were produced in this exact configuration and paint color. Regardless, “The Jetta GLI has been an enthusiast favorite throughout its 37-year history,” said Sean Maynard, Volkswagen’s enthusiast and motorsport marketing specialist. “Paying tribute to the Mk4 with this build concept celebrates the passion that goes into these vehicles.”
Under the supervision of former Volkswagen product launch manager Andres Valbuena, a 2021 Jetta GLI Autobahn with a manual transmission was modified in the spirit of the 2004 model. Using a 2004 GLI’s fuel door to match the blue lagoon color, he and his team were able to come up with a shade that Orafol, the vinyl wrap manufacturer, calls midnight blue metallic. Wrapping the car in its entirety, door jambs and other pieces included, even when the doors, hood, or trunk are opened, it has the appearance of a car that’s been painted.
Air Design, the Oceanside, California-based studio for Mexico’s Air Design S.A. de C.V., a manufacturer of body kits, installed the exterior side skirts, and rear trunk spoiler, before Fifteen52 put the front lower spoiler in place. 20-inch BBS CH-R wheels, with Continental ExtremeContact Sport 235/35 ZR20 tires, were mounted by AlphaParts, and H&R Springs’ street performance coil-over suspension kit was utilized to provide the GLI with a more aggressive-looking attitude than it had previously.
The only interior modifications were Recaro Ergomed ES leather front seats, and a golf ball shift knob from Black Forest Industries. From start to finish, it took Valbuena’s team a little over a month to complete the build.
The first of what is being called the 2021 Volkswagen Enthusiast Fleet, can be seen at car shows and events across the country, a list of which was not provided.