Here’s an interesting car. Let’s say you like diesels. And let’s say you also like performance. In general, these things are mutually exclusive. Most diesels are built for gas mileage, while most performance cars are built with the furthest engine possible from a diesel. Except for those Audis that race in LeMans. Those are an anomaly.
But wouldn’t it be cool to combine diesel and performance? That’s precisely what VW did with the TDI Cup race series, an SCCA series that lasted from 2008 to 2011. The cars that ran were all diesel-powered Jettas, just like the ones you could buy at the VW dealer, except that they had 170 horsepower, 270 pound-feet, and a roll cage. Also, they were covered in decals, but not from sponsors, because who the hell would watch diesel Jettas race?
Anyway: eventually, VW decided to capitalize on the enormously minor success they had with this series by launching the TDI Cup Jetta. What a great strategy, right? Tune the standard car’s 140 horses and 236 lb-ft to the figures from the cup cars, and you have a touring car for the road. AND it has a diesel engine for fuel economy!!! HOW COOL!
Only, Volkswagen didn’t tune the engine. Instead, the Jetta TDI Cup was just a standard Jetta TDI, with the same 140 horses and the same 236 lb-ft. The only upgrades were a bodykit, some wheels, and what I can only imagine is a decal that says “TDI Cup Edition” while spanning both doors.
So, the Jetta TDI Cup. It exists. But maybe it shouldn’t.